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THE PRE-SOCRATIC SCHOOLS: a History of (i reek 
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THIS TRANSLATION of Dr. ZELLEii s c Plato imcl die liltere 
Akademie Section 2, Part 2, Vol. II. of his Pluloso- 
pbie der Grieclien lias been made from the third and 
enlarged edition of that work, an earlier portion of 
which ( Sokrates und die Sokratiker ) has already ap 
peared in English in the translation of Dr. REICHEL. 

The text lias been translated by Miss ALLEYNE, who 
desires to express her grateful acknowledgments to 
Dr. HELLER for his courteous approval of the under 
taking. For the notes, and for the revision of the 
whole, Mr. GOODWIN is responsible. 

The references in the notes require some explana 
tion: Simple figures, with or without supra or infra, 
indicate the pages and notes of the English translation. 
Vol. I. means the first (German) volume of the Philo- 
sophie der Grieclien, and Part I. the Erste Abtheilimg 
of the second volume. 

Of the value of Dr. HELLER S work in the original, it 


is unnecessary to speak. Professor JOWETT Las recently 
borne ample and honourable testimony to it in the 
preface to the second edition of his Plato. It is hoped 
that the present translation may be of use to some 
students of Plato who are perhaps less familiar with 
German than Greek. 





Childhood and Yonth ........ 1 

Relation to Socrates . . . . . " . \ 9 

Sojourn at Megara. Travels . . . . . ! 14 

Teaching in the Academy . u ~? . . . 95 

Attitude to Politics. Second and third Sicilian journeys . "20 

Death . . * t> 3 

Character . O 



Enquiry into the State of our Collection ; its Completeness 45 

Genuineness ...... 4< 

External Evidence . 59 

; References of Aristotle ...... 54 

[ Review of these . ^4 

Value of their Testimony . . . . y-j 

Criterion of Authenticity in Platonic Writings ... 77 

Particular Dialogues ^ 

Plato s Writings the Records of his Philosophy . . . " 87 



Scope and Design of the Enquiry 

Early Attempts at an Arrangement of the Writings 



Schleiermacher ...... 99 

Hermann ..... ^ 

Their Followers ..... 1 () 4 

Standard of Criticism ..... 109 

Its application to our Collection . . . . . .117 

Early Works n > 

Gorgias, Mcno, Tkeeetutus, Euthydemus, Phaidru.s . . . 125 
Sophist, Politicus, Parraenides, Philcbus, Euthydemus, Cratylus, 

Symposium, Phaedo ...... 136 

Republic, Timams, Critias, Laws ...... 131) 



Character in relation to Socrates ...... 144 

To the pre-Socraiics 147 

^.Dialectic Method . 150 

Form of Plato s Writings. Philosophic Dialogue . . . 1>3 

Connection with the Personality of Socrates .... 159 

Myths 100 

Division of the System ........ 104 



1. Ordinary CoiiKciousness. Its Theoretic Side . . . 170 

I Its Practical Side ........ 175 

\jl. Sophistic Doctrine. Its Theory of Knowledge . . . 183 
Its Ethics . . i ; " . . . .184 

Sophistic us a Whole 189 

: ,. Philosophy 190 

The Philosophic Impulse, Eros ..... 191 

^/The Philosophic Method. Dialectic 190 

/ Its Elements; Formation of Concepts .... 199 

i, (Classification 204 

Logical Determinations ....... 208 

/ Language . . . . . . . . .210 

Philosophy as a AVhole ; Stages of Philosophic Develop 
ment . 214 

cox M:\TS. 



1. The Doctiine of Ideas founded upon that of Knowledge . 225 

And of Being 228 

Proofs as given by Aristotle ...... 232 

Historic Origin of the Doctrine ..... 233 

2. Concept of Ideas ........ 237 

Ideas as Universals or Genera . . . . 238 

As Substances . . . . * . . .240 

As Concrete Unities . . . . . .248 

Or Numbers . ." . . . V . . .254 

As Living Powers . . . . . . 261 

:{. The World of Ideas . .... . . . . 271 

Extent . . . . . ...... 271 

Subdivisions : . : . . . 276 

The most Universal Categories . . . . . 277 

The Highest Idea, the Good, and (fod . . . . 276 



< Jeneral Causes of the World of Phenomena . . 293 

1. Matter. Its Derivation 293 

1 Ascription of Matter . .207 

Not a Primeval, Corporeal Substance . 300 

Not the Product of Envisagemcnt or Opinion . . . 309 

Hut of Space -. . .312 

Difficulties of this Theory . . . . . 312 

2. Relation of Sensible Objects to the Idea .... 315 

Immanence of Things in Ideas ..... 317 
No derivation of the World of Sense .... 319 
Reasons against the Identification of Matter with the Un 
limited in the Ideas 320 

Lacuna in the System at this point .... 332 

Participation of things in Ideas ..... 335 

Reason and Necessity ; Physical and Final Causes . . 337 



3. The World-Soul 341 

Connection of this Doctrine with Plato s whole System . 343 

Nature of the Soul 345- 

The Soul and the Mathematical Principle . . . 351 

The Soul as the Cause of Motion ..... 356 

And of Knowledge 356 



The World-System and its Parts 361 

How far these Discussions arc valuable and important . . .361 

1. The Origin of the World. Question of its beginning in 

Time 363 

2. Formation of the Elements. Tclcological Derivation . . 368- 

Physical Derivation .371 

Properties, Distribution, Admixture, Motion, Decomposi 
tion . 375 

3. The World-System ; the Heavenly Bodies ; Time ; the Cos- Year ......... 379 

The World as the Become (Gewordene) God . . . 386 

1 iivsics (CONTINUED). 

Man . . . 388 

Nature of the Human Soul ........ 389 

\lfs Mythical History 390 

Dogmatic Element in this mode of Representation .... 396 

Immortality 397 

Pre-existence 404 

Recollection, Transmigration, and Future Retribution . . . 406 

Parts of the Soul 417 

Freewill . . m .419 

Relation of the Soul to the Body ...... 421 

Physiological Theories .423 

Plants and Animals ....... 432 

Difference of Sex 433 

Diseases 433 





4. The Highest Good 436 

Withdrawal from the World of Sense .... 438 

. Relative Value ascribed to it 441 

*5. Virtue 444 

Virtue and Happiness . . . . . . 445 

Socratic and Platonic Doctrine of Virtue . . . . 448 

Natural Disposition 449 

Customary and Philosophic Virtue . . . . . 450 

Plurality of Virtues ; Primary Virtues . . . . 451 

The Distinctive Peculiarities of Plato s Ethics . . . 454 



The State 401 

End and Problem of the State 461 

Philosophy as the Condition of the true State .... 466 

The Constitution of the State . .... . . . 468 

Importance of Public Institutions; aristocratic character of the 

Platonic Constitution 469 

Separation and Relation of Classes .471 

This Constitution based upon Plato s whole System . . . 473 

Social Regulations ; Parentage 477 

Education 478 

Citizens Manner of Life ; Community of Goods, Wives, and Children 481 
Significance of this Political Ideal from Plato s Point of View. 

Influences that led him to it 482 

Its affinity with the Modern State . . . . . . 490 

Defective States 4<r2 



1. Religion. The Religion of the Philosopher; Purification of 

the Popular Faith 495 

Visible Clods 499 

Popular Religion ......... SCO 

General Result . 503 



2. Art 505 

The Beautiful ... 50f> 

Artistic Inspiration .....- 508 

Imitation ....-.- 509 

Supervision of Art .511 

Particular Arts ........ 513 

Rhetoric . .... 514 



The Platonic Doctrine according to Aristotle .... 517 

The Laws. Point of View .... 522 

Philosophy less prominent 523 

Religious Character ......- 525 

Importance of Mathematics ........ 527 

Ethics ... 529 

Particular Legislation ....-.- 531 

Politics 533 

Constitution . . . . . ;) 3 

Social Regulations 540 

General Character of the Laws ; Divergences from Plato s original 

Point of View the Evil World-Soul . . . 543 

Authenticity 548 



Platonic School. External History 553 

Character of its Philosophy . 565 

Spcusippus Theory of Knowledge 500 

First Principles ; the Good and the Soul 5G8 

Numbers 572 

Magnitudes ,575 

Fragments of his Physics ...... 576 

Ethics . ; ">78 


IMI, I. 


Divisions of rhilosopliy ........ 58:2 

Kinds and Stages of Knowledge ........ 583 

First Principles 584 

Number and Ideas 580 

Spatial Magnitudes . " . . . . . . . 587 

The Soul 589 

Cosmology . . . . . . . . . 5 ( .)1 

Gods and Daemons . . . .... . . 593 

Elements. Formation of the World 595 

Psychology . . . / ~ ; "^ 

Ethics 5<7 



Metaphysical Enquiries ........ C04 

Heraclides . . . . <OG 

Eudoxus ....... .... Oil 

The Epinomis <>12 

Polemo . (>17 

Crater, Grantor . . . . . . . . . C>18 




THERE is hardly another philosopher of antiquity with 
whose life we are so intimately acquainted as with 
Plato s ; yet even in his case, tradition is often uncer 
tain and still more often incomplete. 1 Born some years 

1 According to Simplicius, Phys. 
268 a. m. Schol. 427 a. 15. De 
Ccelo, 8 b. 16 sq. 41 b. 1 sq. 
Karst. (Schol. 470 a. 27, where, 
instead of Karsten s reading /Sty, 
should be read /3tou, 474 a. 12.) 
Xenocrates had already written 
irepl TOV HXctTwi os piov. Whether 
this means a special work or 
merely an incidental notice in 
connection with some other dis 
quisition must remain undecided. 
(Steinhart. Plato s Leben, 8. 260 sq. 
adopts the latter supposition on 
account of Diogenes silence as to 
any such work.) Speusippus apud 
Diogenem, iv. 5. Apuleius de Dog- 
mate Platonis i. mentions an 67*16- 
IJ.IQV IlXdrwj os (which must be iden 
tical with the TrepiSeiirvov HXdrwj os 
ap. Diog. iii. 2, unless we suppose 
with Hermann and Steinhart, that 
the titles of the writings of Speu- 
sippus and Clearchus are confused : 
see respectively Plat. 97, 45, loc. 
cit. 7, 260). Finally we know of a 
treatise of Plato s scholar Hcrmo- 

dorus, which gave information both 
about his life and his philosophy, 
and likewise of a work of Philippus 
of Opus TrepinXdrwj os (see Diog. ii. 
106, iii. 6. Dercyllides ap. Simpl. 
Phys. 54 b. 56 b. Vol. Hercul. 
Coll. Alt. i. 162 sqq. Col. 6 ; cf. my 
Diatribe de Hermodoro, Marb. 
1859, p. 18 sq. and for the latter 
Suidas s. v. 4>tX6(ro0os). But from 
these most ancient sources we 
have only a few notices preserved 
to us. Later writers, the greater 
part of whom are known to us 
only from Diogenes, are of very 
unequal value (a review of them 
is to be found in Steinhart, loc. cit. 
13 sqq.) ; Diogenes himself is to 
be relied on only so far as he 
indicates his authorities ; and this 
is equally true of the Hpo\ 
(in Hermann s edition of Plato, vi. 
196 sqq.) and of the short bio 
graphies of Olympiodorus and the 
anonymous writer who for the 
most part simply copies these. Of 
the Platonic letters the 7th is the 



after the commencement of the Peloponnesian war, 1 

important for the history of 
> s life ; still, it cannot be ac- 

Plato s 

cepted as genuine, nor does it 
merit the unlimited confidence 
placed in it by Grote (Plato, i. 113 
sqq.), who is actuated not so much 
by the interest of a true historian 
as by that of an advocate. The 
remaining Platonic letters are quite 
worthless as historical evidence. 
On the other hand, Plato s genuine 
writings give but very few points 
from which we can derive any 
knowledge of his life. The minor 
accredited accounts are false and 
not seldom self-contradictory. The 
more recent literature bearing on 
Plato s life is given by Ueberweg, 
Hist, of Phil. i. 39. Steinhart, 
loc. cit. 28 sq, 

2 A tradition in Diogenes Laer- 
tius, iii. 3, says that he was born 
at JEgina, in which island his 
father had received an allotment 
on its occupation by an Athenian 
colony, about 430 B.C. This state 
ment is doubtful in itself, and is 
rendered more so by the obvious 
falsity of the succeeding statement, 
that he only returned to Athens 
after the Spartan expulsion of the 
colonists, B.C. 404. The date of 
Plato s birth is uncertain. Apol- 
lodorus, according to Diog. iii. 2 sq., 
assigned it to the 88th Olympiad 
(i.e. Olympiad 88, i.), B.C. 427, on 
the 7th of Thargelion (May. 21) 
(on the reduction to our months cf. 
Ueberwcg, Exam, of the Platonic 
Writings Steinhart, loc. cit, 284) ; 
nnd this, according to Plutarch, 
Qufestiones Convivalcs 8, 1, 1, 1, 
2, 1, and Apuleius, Do Dogm. 
Plat. 1, was really kept as his 
birthday. With this llermodorus 
(ap. Diog. C) agrees, when he says 
that Plato was 28 years old when 

he went to Megara, i.e. directly 
after Socrates death, vide p. 14, 26, 
supra. On the other hand, Athen 
ians, v. 217 a. says that he was born 
in the archonship of Apollodorus, 
01. 87, 3 (B.C. 429), and with this 
we may connect Diogenes state 
ment, loc. cit., that the year of 
Plato s birth was that of Pericles 
death, if (as Hermann, History 
and System of the Platonic Phi 
losophy, i. 85, A 9, points out) we 
assume that Diogenes follows 
Eoman reckoning. Pericles died 
two and a half years after the 
outbreak of the Peloponnesian 
war, in the autumn of B.C. 429 
(01. 87, 4), in the archonship of 
Epameinon. The statement in 
the pseudo-Plutarch (Vita Isocra- 
tis 2, p. 836), that Isocrates was 
seven years older than Plato, 
points to the same date. Isocrates 
was born 01. 86, 1 (436 B.C.) ; vide 
loc. cit. and Diog. iii. 2 ; Dionysius, 
Judicium de Isocrate, init. Di 
ogenes himself, in assigning Plato s 
birth to the archonship of Epamei 
non, and accordingly making him 
only six years younger than Iso 
crates, is going on a false reckon 
ing, exclusive of the year of 
Pericles death. It may be ob 
served that Diogenes, or our pre 
sent text of him, has eV Afj.eiviov 
instead of eV ETrafj-eivuvos ; and in 
connection with this is the assertion 
of the IIpo\ey6( TTJS IlAaTWPCS 
<i\oo-o0i ay, C. 2 (Plato, cd. Herm. 
vi. 197. Diog. Laert. ed. Cobet, 
appendix, p. 6), that Plato was 
born while Pericles was still alive, 
in the archonship of Ameinias, 
01. 88. This introduces m<ire 
confusion ; and Eusebius, in his 
Chronicon, followed by the Paschal 
Chronicle, in dating his birth 01. 


the son of an ancient aristocratic Jiouse, 3 favoured 

authority not only of the careful 
chronologist Apollodorus, but also 
that of Hermodorus, who, as a 
personal pupil of Plato, more than 
all other witnesses has the pre 
sumption on his side of being well 
informed on this point. (The 
opinions against his trustworthi 
ness will be tested pp. 14, 26, note.) 
He may therefore be depended 
upon for the chronology of his 
own^ times (I here retract the 
opinion I formerly shared with 
earlier writers), and the most 
probable supposition is that Plato 
was born B.C. 427, and died 347 
B.C., perhaps shortly before the 
middle of the year. This con 
clusion is favoured, amongst others 
by Grote, Plato i. 114; Ueberweg 
Hist, of Phil. i. 39 ; Examina 
tion of Plato s writings, 113 ; and 
Steinhart loc. cit. 37, without ab 
solutely rejecting the date 428 B.C. 
for his birth. To the latter sup 
position is of course opposed the 
fact that Plato, if his birthday 
actually fell on the 7th of Thar- 
gelion and consequently earlier 
than Socrates death, had already 
attained his 29th year at the 
time of the flight to 3Iegara, 
and could not rightly be said by 
Hermodorus to have been only 
28. That Plato s nominal birth 
day might very possiblv belong to 
the mythic traits of his Apolline 
character (as 0. Miiller, The Dori 
ans, i. 330, conjectures ; cf. Leutsch 
ap. Hermann, Plato 85 A. 7 ; Stein- 
hart loc. cit. 39 sq.) has been 
already remarked p. 43. The 
whole question is specially treated 

89 i., has only given an instance 
of his own carelessness. 

As to the year of Plato s death, 
tradition is more consistent. Apol 
lodorus apud Diog. v. 9, Dionysius 
Halicaraassiensis Ad Ammaeum, 5, 
and Athenaeus v. 217 b, agree in 
assigning it to the archonship of 
Theophilus, ()1. 108, i. The ac 
counts of his age, however, again 
present a great discrepancy. Her- 
mippus apud Diog. iii. *2 (with 
whom are Lucian, Macrobii 20, 
Augustine, De Civitate Dei viii. 11, 
Censorious, De Die Natali, 15, 1, 
and the Prolegomena C. 6) says he 
was 81. Seneca states even more 
definitely (epistle 58, 31), that he 
died on his 82nd birthday ; and it 
seems only an inexact expression 
of Cicero s (De Senectute, 5, 13) 
that he died writing in his 81st 
year, with which we may compare 
what Dionysius says (De Compo- 
sitione Verborum, p. 208), that he 
had been constantly polishing his 
works up to his 80th year. 

On ^ the other hand, Athenaeus 
loc. cit., and N^alerius Maxirnus 
viii. 7, o, make him 82 ; Neanthes 
apud Diog. loc. cit., 84. This 
statement is highly improbable, as 
it would compel us to put back 
the birth of the philosopher to 
431 or 432 B.C. However, the 
statement which allows him to 
attain 81 years would very well 
agree with the supposition that 
he was born B.C. 429, and died 
B.C. 348. But even if he was 
born B.C. 427 and died a short 
time after completing his 80th 
year, in one case his death falls 
under the archonship of Thc- 
ophilus, in the other case in 
H ,81st year. For this determi 
nation of the date we have the 


by Corsini De die Natali Platonis 
(in Gorius Symbola Literaria vi. 
97 sqq.) Cf. Fasti Attici iii. 229 sq. 
;{ His father Aristo, according 



also by wealth, 4 no less than birth, he must have found 
in his education and surroundings abundant intellect- 

to Plutarch, De Amore Prolis 4, 
p. 496, died before Plato reached 
manhood. Beyond this, we know 
nothing of him ; and of the grand 
father, Aristoclcs, we only know 
that Plato himself bore his name, 
until it was superseded by the nick 
name nXarwi given him by his 
gymnastic master on account of 
his powerful build. Cf. Alexander 
and Neanthes apud Diog. iii. 4 
transcribed by Olympiodorus, Vita 
Platonis 2, and the Prolegomena, 
c. 1 Seneca, ep. 58, 30 ; Sextus 
Empiricus adversus Mathematicos 
1,258; Apuleius, Dogm. Plat. 1, 
&c. Thrasylus, however, apud 
Diog. 1, and after him Apuleius, 
loc. cit., notice his father as a de 
scendant of Codrns: Olympiodorus, 
c. 1, says, of Solon ; but this is 
obviously an oversight. His mother, 
Perictione, as she is called by the 
great majority of the biographers 
while a few are said (Diog. 1) 
to have substituted Potone, the 
name of his sister, Speusippus 
mother (vide Diog. iii. 4, iv. 1) 
was a sister of Charmides (vide 
supra, p. 10(3, 1), and cousin of 
Critias, deriving her descent from 
Dropides, a friend and kinsman of 
Solon s, and through him from 
Neleus, the ancestor of the last 
kings of Attica, vide Diog. 1, who, 
however, wrongly makes Dropides 
Solon s brother. (In this he is 
followed by several writers, and 
is partly misunderstood by Olym 
piodorus, c. 1, and the Prolego 
mena, c. 1.) See also Apuleius, 
Dogm. Plat., init. ; Plato, Char 
mides, 155 A, 157 E ; Timanis 20 
D, and Ast, Life and Writings 
of Plato, 16 sq., together with 

Hermann, Plato 23 sq., 93, and 
Martin, Etudes sur le Tim^e, 1, 
246. On the further question as 
to Plato s brothers, and their re 
lation to the Glaucon and Adeiman- 
tus of the Republic, and Parmeni- 
des, vide on one side Hermann, 
Allgemeine Schulzeitung for 1831, 
p. 653 ; his Plato, 24, 94 ; and his 
Disputatio de Reipublicaj Platonis 
tempore (Marburg, 1839), forming 
part of the Vindicias Platonics ; 
and SLeinhart, Works of Plato, 5, 
48 sq. : on the other, Buckh s Ber 
lin Lectures for the summer of 
1839 ; Munk, Die Natiirliche Ord- 
nung der Platonischen Schriftcn, 
page 63 seqq., 264 sq., (his argu 
ments and conjectures are of very 
unequal merit). Susemihl, Gene- 
tische Entwicklung der Platonis 
chen Philosophic 2, 76 sqq. The 
former authorities recognise, both 
in the Republic and the Parmeni- 
des, two older relations of Plato s, 
his mother s brothers, who are as 
little known to us as their father 
Aristo. The latter, following Plu 
tarch and others, see in these 
characters Plato s own brothers. 
On the grounds given in the 
Abhandl. d. Berl. Akad. v. J. 
1873, Hist, Phil. Kl. S. 86, the 
latter supposition alone seems to 
me to be tenable. Whether in 
Repub. II, 368, A. Plato s father 
is mentioned as still living at 
the supposed time of this dialogue 
(40 B.C.) cannot be made out 
with certainty; according to Apol. 
34 A, 38 B, we must suppose that 
he did not live to see the trial 
of Socrates. Cf. Plut. de Amore 
Prolis 4, S. 496. Antiphon, a half- 
brother of Plato, and the son of 


ual food; and even without the express testimony of 
history, 5 we might conclude that he profited by these 

Pyrilampes, appears in the intro 
duction of the Parinenides, and 
(128 B) appears to be younger than 
the sons of Aristo (that this Anti- 
phon was Plato s half-brother, and 
not an older relation, has been 
shown by Bdckh loc. cit.). How 
ever, the legends of Plato s Apolline 
descent cannot be appealed to as 
evidence that he was the first child 
of his mother (vide supra, pp. 44, 
111): according to Plato s Apology 
34 A. Adeimantua appears to be 

4 The later writers certainly re 
present Plato as a comparatively 
poor man: e.g. Gellius, Noctes 
Atticas iii. 17, 1 (according to 
tradition he was tenui admodum 
pecunia familiari); Damascius,Vita 
Isidoii 158 ; TT 

yap r\v 6 

; repeated by Suidas, voce 
HXdruv, and Apuleius, Dogm. 
Plat. 4. The story in Plutarch, 
Solon c. 2 fin., of his getting the 
means to travel by selling oil in 
-^gypt, points the same way. 
-<Elian, Vari?e Historic 3, 27, says 
that he had heard a tale (which he 
doubts, in this place, though in 
> r >. . he repeats the like about 
Aristotle without hesitation) of 
Plato s having once been ready, 
under pressure of poverty, to serve 
as a mercenary soldier, when 
Socrates dissuaded him. ( f. Her 
mann, Plato 77 sq., 98, 122. All 
these accounts, however, were no 
doubt invented by ascetic admirers 
or opponents of the philosopher 
in later times. Plato s whole 
family belongs to the aristocratic 
party, who were generally the 
great land-holders; his uncle Char- 
midcs had been rich, and was 

only reduced to necessity by the 
Peloponnesian war (Xenophon, 
Symposium 4, 29 sqq. ; Memora 
bilia iii. 6, 14), but that Plato s 
parents were not involved in this 
calamity, we may see from the 
Memorabilia, loc. cit., where So 
crates advises Glaucon, before he 
aims at the care of the whole state, 
to undertake that of an individual ; 
for instance, of his uncle, who 
really needed it. Had his father 
and mother been poor, the example 
lay nearer to hand. Apart from 
this, none but the son of a rich 
family could have entertained the 
notion of pressing forward, before 
his twentieth year, to the leader 
ship of public affairs. Again, 
Plato names himself (Apol. 
38 B) as one of the four who 
offered to bail Socrates for 30 
minse ; so that he must have been 
a solvent person, 6771/777-775 dto- 
X/oews. His journeys, too, are evi 
dence of his being well oft ; for the 
tale about the oil-selling does not 
look much like the philosopher 
who despised trade ; if trua at all, 
it can only mean that he took some 
of his own produce with him to 
Egypt instead of ready money. 
Finally, even though his choregia 
(Plutarch, Aristides 1, Dion 17 ; 
Diog. 3) as a freewill service, the 
cost of which was borne by Dion, 
be no proof of wealth, and the 
purchase of the writings of Philo- 
laus (vide subter), involving great 
expense, be not quite well authen 
ticated, or may have been effected 
with other people s money, we still 
have sufficient evidence of his 
having been a man of some means, 
not only in his will, (in Diogenes 


advantages to the fullest expansion of his brilliant 
genius. Among the few further particulars that have 
descended to us respecting his earlier years, 6 our atten- 

41 sq.), but also in what is told of 
bis way of life and domestic 
management ; vide Diog. 6, 25 sq. 
Hieronyinus adversus Jovinianum 
2, 203, ed. Martianay, certainly 
establishes nothing. 

6 Apuleius, dogm. Plat. 2: nam 
Speusippus domesticis instructus 
documentis pueri ejus acre in per- 
cipiendo ingenium et admiranda^ 
verecundise indolem laudat : et 
pubescentis primitias labore atque 
amore studendi imbutas refert : et 
in viro harum incrementa virtutum 
et ceterarum testatur. Cf. Her 
mann, Plato 97. 

6 To these belong specially the 
tales about his early education and 
teachers, heading and writing he 
is said to have learnt from the 
Dionysius who is immortalized in 
the Anterasta?, gymnastic from 
Aristo of Argos, who brought him 
on so well that he entered the 
Isthmian games as a wrestler. 
(For his gymnastic, cf. after 
Dicaiarchus, Diogenes 4 ; Servius 
on ^neid 6, 668; Apul. c. 2; 
Olympiod. c. 2 ; Prolegomena, c. 2. 
Apuleius and Porphyry apud 
Cyrillum contra Julianum, 208 D, 
make him enter at the Pythian 
games as well ; the Prolegomena 
remove the victory to the Isthmian 
and Olympic contests.) Music he 
learned under Draco, a pupil of 
Damon, and Metellus of Agrigen- 
tum (Plutarch, De Musica^T, 1; 
Olymp. and Proleg., loc. cit. ; cf. 
Hermann, p. 99). How much of 
these accounts is historical cannot 
be determined, and is a matter of 
comparative indifference. That he 
repeatedly appeared and was vic 

torious in public contests is cer 
tainly not true ; whether he even 
entered at the Isthmia may be 
doubted, for after his acquaintance 
with Socrates had begun he hardly 
cver took part in athletic struggles, 
and previous to that he was too 
young. (Hermann, p. 100, con 
jectures that the origin of the 
story may be traced in the Crito, 
52 B.) The name of his writing 
master is probably derived from 
the Anterastre ; and, similarly, the 
story in Diog. 5 (Apul. loc. cit. : 
Olymp. 2; Prolegg. 3), to the 
effect that he enjoyed instruction 
from artists, and thence acquired 
the knowledge of colour shown in 
the Timaeus, may be merely an ar 
bitrary assumption based on that 
dialogue. The strange assertion 
of Aristoxenus apud Diog. 8 (cf. 
TKlian Y. H. 7. 14), that he took 
part in three campaigns, not only 
to Corinth (Olympiad 96), but to 
Delium (01. 89, 1), and Tanagra 
(Ol. 88, 3), and at Delium obtained 
the prize for valour, is doubtless 
modelled on the three campaigns of 
Socrates (vide supra, p. 50), whose 
words with reference to them (Apol. 
28, D.) are put into Plato s mouth 
in Diogenes 24. 

What we know of the state of 
Athens towards the end of the 
Peloponnesian war would certainly 
lead us to conclude that he must 
have seen some military service, 
and perhaps he abo took part in 
that action at Megara (409 B.C., 
Diodorus xiii. 65), in which, ac 
cording to his own statement in 
Kep. ii. 368 A., his brother dis 
tinguished himself. 

l LATO 8 LIFE. 7 

tion is principally drawn to three points, important in 
their influence on his mental development. 

Of these we may notice first the general condi 
tion of his country, and the political position of his 

Plato s youth coincided with that unhappy period 
succeeding the Sicilian defeat when all the faults of 
the previous Athenian government were so terribly 
avenged, all the disadvantages of unlimited democracy 
so nakedly exposed, all the pernicious results of the 
self-seeking ethics and sophistical culture of the time 
so unreservedly displayed. He himself belonged to a 
social class and to a family which regarded the exist 
ing constitution with undisguised, and not always 
groundless discontent. Several of his nearest relations 
were among the spokesmen of the aristocratic party. 7 
But when that party had itself been raised to power 
by the common enemy, on the ruins of Athenian great 
ness, it so misused its strength that the eyes of its 
blindest adherents were inevitably opened. It is easy 
to see how a noble, high-minded youth, in the midst of 
such experiences and influences, might be disgusted, 
not only with democracy, but with existing State sys 
tems in general, and take refuge in political Utopias, 
which would further tend to draw off his mind from 
the actual towards the ideal. 

Again, there were other circumstances simulta 
neously working in the same direction. We know 
that Plato in his youth occupied himself with poetical 

7 Critias, as is well known; Memorab. Ill, 7, 1, 3; Hellenica 
Charmides, acording to Xcnophonc, ii. 4, 11.). 


attempts, 8 and the artistic ability already evinced by 
some of his earliest writings, 9 coupled with the poetical 
character of his whole system, would lead us to suppose 
that these studies went far beyond the superficiality of 
a fashionable pursuit. 10 There is, therefore, little reason 
to doubt (however untrustworthy may be our more pre 
cise information on the subject 11 ) that he was intimate! 
with the great poets of his country. 

Lastly, he had, even before his acquaintance with 

8 Diog. 5. He is said to have 
practised composition in verse, at 
first dithyrambs, and then songs 
and tragedies; and even to have 
conceived the idea of becoming a 
competitor in the tragic contests, 
when he became acquainted with 
Socrates, and, following his ex 
ample, burnt his poems. So 
Olyinp. 3, Prolog. 3. Julian, V. H. 
ii. 30, gives a somewhat different 
account. According to him, Plato s 
first essay was in epos ; but seeing 
how far short his productions came 
of their Homeric model, he de 
stroyed them (on this, however, 
cf. Hermann, Plato 100, 54), and 
next composed a tragic tetralogy, 
which was actually in the per 
formers hands, when his acquaint 
ance with Socrates decided him to 
abandon poetry for ever. Of the 
epigrams ascribed to Plato (some 
ascribed as early as Aristippus, irepi 
TraXcu as Tpu0?;s, apud l)iog. 29 ; 
who is followed by Diogenes him 
self, loc. cit., Apuleius de Magia 
c. 10 ; Gellius xix. 11 ; Atlienaus 
xiii. 589 C. ; and others ; cf. Bcrgk, 
Lyrici Gneci, 489 sq.), which are 
mostly amatory trifles, the great 
majority are evidently forgeries, or 
attributed to him by some con 

fusion ; the rest are at least quite 
uncertain, and so is the little epic 
fragment in the Anthologia Pla- 
nudea, 210. Cf. Bergk, loc. cit., 
and Hermann, Plato, 101. 

9 Specially in the Protagoras; 
but in some of the minor dialogues 
too, e,g. the Lysis, Charmides, and 
Laches, the dramatic element is 
greatly in excess of the dialectic. 

10 That poetry in Athens at that 
time was largely of this character 
is shown, among other testimony, 
by the passages from Aristophanes 
quoted by Hermann on page 100 ; 
Frogs 88 sq. ; Birds 1444 sq. 

11 Diog. iii. 8, says that he first 
brought Sophron s mimes to 
Athens (this, however, could only 
have been after his journey), and 
took such delight in them that he 
used to keep them under his 
pillow. The latter statement also 
occurs in Val. Max. 8, 7, sectn. 3 ; 
Olymp. 3 ; and Proleg. 3 (with re 
gard to Sophron and Aristophanes). 
Probably, however, these assertions 
only originate in the endeavour to 
find models for his dialogues. He 
is also said to have taken Epichar- 
mus as a pattern, but not much 
reliance can be placed on this. 
Vide Part 1, p. 428 sq. 

PLATO S L // /;. 

Socrates, turned his attention to philosophy, and 
through Cratylus the Heraclitean 12 had become ac 
quainted with a doctrine which, in combination with 
other elements, essentially contributed to his later 
system. 13 

All these influences, however, appear as of little 
importance by the side of Plato s acquaintance with 
Socrates. AVe cannot, of course, say what direction his 
mind might have taken without this teacher, but the 
question may well remain unanswered. We know 
enough to prove from all historical traces that the 
deepest, most lasting, most decisive impression was 
produced by the philosophic reformer on his congenial 
disciple. Plato himself is said to have esteemed it as 
the highest of Fortune s favours, that he should have 
been born in the lifetime of Socrates, 14 and later tradi 
tion has adorned with a significant myth 15 the first 

1J Vide Part 1, p. 001 sq. 

13 Aristotle, Metaphysics 1, 6, 
init., e/c vecv re yap avv^Q^ ycvope- 
vos irp&Tov KparvXy /ecu rats H pa- 
/cXetreuns 56aty, us cnravTuv rCov 


pl avrQv OVK ova->js, ravra plv /cat 
vffTepov ourws vTrtXafitv. Zuttpdrous 
d Trfpl ret 7]6iKa Trpay/j.a.Tevofji.<?- 
vov, (S:c. ; eKeivov dirodf^d/jLEvos, &c. 
Diog. (3, Olymp. 4, and Proleg. 4 
date the acquaintance with ( ratylus 
after Socrates death ; but, in face 
of Aristotle s express testimony, wo 
can, of course, attach no weight to 
this. Diogenes also mentions, in 
connection with Cratylus, the 1 ar- 
menidean Hermogenes(who appears 
in the Prolegomena as Hermippus); 
but this is merely an arbitrary in 
ference from the dialogue Cratylus ; 

the Hermogenes of which (vide 
Cratyl. 384 A, 391 C.) is certainly 
the well-known disciple of Socrates, 
(vide supra 1GG, note 1). Similarly 
from the Parmenides is derived the 
assertion (Anonymus apud Pho- 
tium, Cod. 249, p. 439 a.), that 
Zeno and Parmenides instructed 
Plato in logic. 

14 Compare the expression in 
Plutarch, Marius 4G ; Lactantius, 
Institutiones Divinse 3, 19 ; though 
its genuineness may be doubted, as 
we have the same put into the 
mouth of Socrates, or even Thales, 
ap. Diog. 1, 33. 

15 Pausanias, 1, 30, 3 ; Diog. 5 ; 
Olymp. 4; Proleg. 1 ; Apul. dogm. 
Plat. 1 ; Socrates is said to have 
dreamt that a swan, the bird of 
Apollo, flew towards him with a 



meeting of the two men. But apart from this, the 
fact must always be regarded as one of those remark 
able contingencies which are too important in their 
bearing on the course of history to be severed from it 
in our thought. During a long 16 and confidential in 
tercourse, 17 Plato penetrated so deeply into the spirit of 
his distinguished friend that the portrait of that spirit 
which he was able to bequeath to us is at once the most 
faithful and the most ideal that we possess. Whether 
at that time he directed his attention to other teachers 
of philosophy, and if so, to what extent, we do not 
know; 18 but it is scarcely credible .that a youth so 

melodious song. Next morning 
Plato presented himself, and 
Socrates immediately recognised 
tlie meaning of the dream. 

1(i According to Hermodorus apud 
Diog. 6, he was twenty years old 
when he became acquainted with 
Socrates, and twenty-eight when 
he went to Euclid, after Socrates 
death. According to this, he would 
he born in 01. 88, 1 (vide supra, 
280, 1). Exact information, how 
ever, can hardly be got on this 
point. The absurd statements of 
Suidas, sub voce nXdrw^, and 
Eudoc a in Villoison s Anecdota 
1, . 362, about a twenty years 
intercourse with Socrates, are 
obviously wrong. 

17 How clcse the two were to 
each other is shown by the whole 
attitude of the Platonic writings, 
and by the portraiture of Socrates 
in them, more completely even 
than by some single passages. We 
may, however, compare Xenophon, 
Mem. 3, G, 1; Plato, Apology, 
34 A, 38 13 ; Phredo, 51) B. 

18 That he was already acquainted 

with the Pythagorean philosophy 
might be inferred from the Phrcdrus, 
if it were certain that this dialogue 
was composed before Socrates 
death. But the accounts which 
might warrant such a conclusion 
(e.g. the statement that the Phsedrus 
was his earliest work, and that the 
subsequent Lysis had been read and 
disowned by Socrates, for which 
vide Diog. 38, 35. Olymp. 3.. 
Prolegg. 3) are not trustworthy 
enough, and the supposition itself 
is far too improbable. Still more 
dubious is the conjecture (Snsemihl 
Genet. Entw. 1, 3, 444; Munk, 
Natiir. Ordn. 497 sqq.; and cf. 
Herm. Plat. 528), that, in the 
Phsedo, 95 E sqq., Plato puts the 
history of his own philosophic 
development in the mouth of 
Socrates. This assumption has- 
given rise to a string of others 
equally untenable. The influence 
on the earlier formation of Plato s, 
mind which can alone be certainly 
attested, that, namely, of the He- 
raclitean philosophy, is obviously 
not touched upon here. Nor does. 

PLATO 9 8 LIFE. 11 

highly educated, and so eager for knowledge whose 
first impulse, moreover, towards philosophy had not 
come from Socrates should have made no attempt 
until his thirtieth year to inform himself as to the 
achievements of the earlier philosophers, should have 
learned nothing from his friend Euclid about the Elea- 
tics, nor from Simmias and Cebes about Philolaus : 
that he should have enquired no further respecting the 
doctrines continually brought to the surface by the 
public lectures and disputations of the Sophists, and 
left unread the writings of Anaxagoras. so easily to be 
obtained in Athens. 19 It is nevertheless probable that 
the overpowering influence of the Socratic teaching 
may have temporarily weakened his interest in the 
earlier natural philosophies, and that close and repeated 
study may afterwards have given him a deeper insight 
into their doctrines. Similarly, his own imaginative 
nature, under the restraining influence of his master s 
dialectic, was probably habituated to severer thought 
and more cautious investigation ; perhaps, indeed, his 
idealistic tendencies received at first an absolute check; 

the passage in the Phaedo, on the ceptuul philosophy. Brucke, Plat, 
whole, convey the impression of Stud. iii. 427, with whom Steinhart 
a biographical account : it is rather agrees in the main, in spite of the 
an exposition of the universal admission that the development of 
necessity of progress from the Socrates is here described, lie- 
material to tinal causes, and benveg, Exam, of Plat. Writings, 
thence to the Ideas. It takes the 92 sq." 

form of a personal confession ; but 19 Plato Apol., 20 D. Phieilo, 

Plato^ is not giving a historical 97 B. With regard, too, to the 

narration of the philosophical writings of Parmenidea and Zeno, 

development either of himself or Schaarschmidt rightly observes 

Socrates ; he is laying down in out- that they were read quite as much 

line the principles Avhich lead from in Athens as in Megara. 
the philosopy of nature to con- 


and conceptual science, together with the art of form 
ing concepts, was only to be attained by him a 
stranger like his contemporaries to all such things 
through the dry prosaic method of the Socratic en 
quiry. 20 But Plato needed this schooling to give him 
the repose and certainty of the scientific method to 
develope him from a poet into a philosopher ; nor did 
he. in the process permanently lose anything for which 
his natural temperament designed him. Socrates con 
ceptual philosophy had given him a glance into a new 
world, and he forthwith set out to explore it. 

The tragic end of his aged master, a consumma 
tion which he seems at the outset to have thought 
wholly impossible, 21 must have been a fearful blow to 
Plato ; and one consequence of this shock, which still 
seems long years afterwards to vibrate so sensibly in 
the thrilling description of the Phsedo, may have been 
perhaps the illness which prevented the faithful dis 
ciple from attending his master at the last. 22 We are, 

- As I have observed in the early production like the Lysis ; 

Zeitschrift fur Alterthumswissen- the most obvious explanation seems 

sch aft for 1851, page 254, this is to lie in the influence of Socrates, 
rendered probable by the con- 21 Cf. p. 161, note 1. 
stitution of those minor Platonic 22 Pheedo, 59 B. Cf. Herm. 

dialogues which \vc are justified Plat. 34, 103 ; Plutarch, DeVirtute 

in dating before the death of Morali 10, p. 449, does^not seem 

Socrates. If in these dialogues to warrant any conclusion. It is 

the dry formality of the dialectic not impossible that his absence 

discussions is found to present a owing to ill-health is a % mere 

striking contrast to the complete- fiction, by means of which he 

ness and vivacity of the dramatic wished to secure greater freedom 

investiture ; if there is a remark- for himself in narrating the 

able absence in them of youthful speeches which preceded the death 

fire ; if, in later works, e.y. the of Socrates. His readiness to 

Phrcdrus and Symposium, similar stand bail for Socrates has been 

subjects are treated wilh much already mentioned, p. 288 sq. The 

greater vigour and elan than in an statement of Justus of Tiberias, 


however, more immediately concerned with the enquiry 
as to the effect of the fate of Socrates on Plato s philo 
sophic development and view of the world ; and if for 
this enquiry we are thrown upon conjectures, these are 
not entirely devoid of probability. On the one hand, 
for example, we shall find no difficulty in understand 
ing how his reverence for his departed teacher was 
immeasurably increased by the destiny which overtook 
him, and the magnanimity with which he yielded to 
it ; how the martyr of philosophy, faithful unto death, 
became idealized in his heart and memory as the very 
type of the true philosopher ; how principles tested by 
this fiery ordeal received in his eyes the consecration of 
a higher truth ; how at once his judgment on the men 
and circumstances concerned in the sacrifice of Socrates 
grew harder, 23 and his hope as to any political efficiency 
in those circumstances fainter; 24 nay, how the general 
tendency was fostered in him to contemplate reality in 
a gloomy light, and to escape from the ills of the pre 
sent life into a higher, supersensuous world. On the 
other hand, it may perhaps have been better for his 
scientific growth that his connection with Socrates 

ap. Diog ; 2, 41, Proleg. 3, that later judgments, e.g. Politicus, 

Plato wished to undertake So- 298 A sq. ; Republic, vi. 488 A 

crates defence himself, but was 497 A : viii. 557 A sq. ; 5(32 A sq. 
prevented by the clamour of the - 4 According to the 7th Platonic 
judges, like everything else about letter, 324 P> sq., Plato had in- 
Bocrates 1 trial, is disputed. Of. tended to take an active part in 
p. 161 sq.; andHerm. loc. cit. politics, first under the Thirty 
U. specially the way in which Tyrants, and, after their expulsion, 
ie speaks of the great Athenian under the democracy ; but was de- 
statesmen in the (iorgias, 515 C terrcd both times by the state of 
sq., and 521 C sq. ; Thesetetus, 173 affairs, and specially by the attack 
; sq., on the condition of his on Socrates. We cannot, of course, 
Jtive city and the relation of the give much weight to this debate- 
philosopher to politics ; besides able testimony. 


lasted no longer than it did. During the years of their 
intercourse he had made his teacher s spirit his own, in 
completer fulness than was possible to any of his fellow 
students ; it was now for him to perfect the Socratic ! 
science by the addition of new elements, and to fit 
himself by the utmost expansion in many directions 
for erecting it on an independent basis : his apprentice- | 
ship (Lehrjahre) was over, his travelling time (Wander- j 
iahre) was come. 25 


After the death of Socrates, Plato, with others of 
his pupils, first betook himself to Megara, where a 
circle of congenial minds had gathered round Euclid. 26 

- I borrow this denomination are mentioned, the expression the 1 

from Schwegler, Hist, of Phil. 41. Thirty Tyrants, or simply the j 

- 6 Hermodor. ap. Diog. ii. 106, Tyrants (without rpidKovra), is j 

iii. 6. The migration took place not used as the ordinary appella- | 

according to this authority when tion for the Thirty in any writer , 

Plato was twenty-eight ; doubtless of that period, or, in fact, in any | 

immediately after the execution of writer preserved to us before the 

Socrates. He indicates its motive time of Cicero and Diodorus. The j 

in the words deicravTas rr]v &fji.6- invariable title is ol rpidKovra. A i 

r-qro. rdv rvpa-vvuv. Formerly by Tvpavvos, according to the Greek 

these rtpavvoi were understood the view, is a single chief who rules : 

so-called Thirty Tyrants, and little without laws; a rule like that of j 

weight was therefore attributed the Thirty is not a tyranny, but, | 

to the evidence of Hermodorus. as it is often called, an oligarchy. ! 

But this explanation can no longer The Thirty are only once called 

be entertained, now that we know rupcwot in oratorical exaggera- j 

from Simplic. Phys. 54 b. 56 b. tions, e.rj. by Polycrates in Arist. j 

(supra 1, 1), that the Hermo- lihet. ii. 24, 1401, a. 33 ; but we j 

dorus whose statement is preserved cannot conclude from this that it L 

for us in Diogenes, is no other was the usual appellation for j 

than the well-known Platonist. them, and that every one who 

How can it be supposed that a spoke of the rvpavvoi must have 

personal pupil of Plato, like Her- meant the Thirty. Hermodorus 

moderns, could have been so ig- expression must be understood in 

norant as to think that Socrates a different way ; the rvpavvoi. are 

was executed under the tyranny the democrats who brought about 

of the Thirty? AVe need not the execution of Socrates, just as 

understand the rvpavvoi in this Xenophon, Hellen. iv. 4, (j, calls j 

sense. Indeed, often as the Thirty the democrats who held sway at 



He afterwards undertook 27 journeys which led him to 
E ^ypt, Gyrene, Magna Graecia, and Sicily. 28 Owing to 

Corinth rovs TvpavvetovTas on ac- witnesses cited on p 1 1) 
count of their reign of terror. Equally unjustifiable is the asser- 
Similarly the seventh Platonic tion of Stein against Hermodorus, 
etter, 325 13, calls the accusers of with regard to some of the well- 
Socrates awurretovTC! rive*. The known Socratics, such as Xenophon 
distinction which Steinhart, PI. Antisthenes, JEschincs, that it is 
fc., 122 sq., draws between T^aww highly improbable, if not quite 
and rvpavvcvovTfs is, I think, too impossible, that they were with 
fine, and I see no reason why an Plato at Megara. Hermodorus 
adversary might not have applied does not state that all the Socratic 
the term rvpaww. to violent de- students had gone there "" 
mocratsjust as much as to violent merely says, iii. " 

nllcroivliB T will nnf ^P , ....n > , ,-rt 

(f>r)Gt.v Ep/j.65wpos ets 
Ev K \ddr]v avv K ai &\\ois rial 

oligarchs. I will not, of course, 

dispute the possibility that this 

expression is not borrowed from 

HerraoUorus himself. Stein (Siebcn and if we "com pare "ii l 0(f- 

Ppfaer z. Gesch. d. Plat. ii. CO, TOVTOV (Euclid) -* -- 

170 sq.), and after him Schaar- 

schmidt (Sammlung 
5 *(]. , have been 

i^w Au HXcirwm rai roi>f Xoor>j 

d plat. Schr. ^tXocro^oyj, the meaning is obviously 
led into error not (as Steinhart, PL L. 121, un- 

A / / ~ W V1J.U1 IlUt I tiO Ol 

through a false pre-supposition, in derstands) all the philosophers 

rejecting Hermodorus s date and who were at that time in Athens 

his evidence for Plato s sojourn in but the rest known to the reader 

Megara, on the ground that rtpw- (i.e. the reader of Hermodorus, or 

can only mean the rtpavvoi of the writer whose statement is 

so-called /car eo X ^ those who here made use of) who had left 

have always been understood as Athens with Plato AVe mHit 

the Tyrants at Athens, viz. the be more ready to doubt, with 

Thirty only. Schaarschnndt has so ! teinhart (PL L. 121) whether 

,r misconstrued the Ttpav VQl of danger threatening one of their 

Hermodorus as to identify, in a number afforded 1 lato and his 

ty reading of the seventh Pla- friends any ground for apprehen- 

nc letter, the 5vv<i<rTcvot>Tcs who sion. It is quite possible that 

brought Socrates to trial with the Hermodorus attributed this motive 

rtpawoi mentioned earlier (the to them from his own conjecture 

quotation marks are Schaar- in which he was really mistaken 

Schmidt s); but in the Platonic However, the state of ^aaft"; 

etter there is not a word about the death of Socrates is so little 

rvpawu, whereas the rptdKovra known to us that we cannot de 

?Acc n men t 0n ^ ( f 4C ? 25 .^- dde Whether there -as norsome 

thin H ^ Schaa , r f hmidt s occasion, though perhaps unwar- 

eoiy Hermodorus could not of ranted, for apprehension 

course have been the immediate 27 ()ll wh fbl , f ]f 

pupil of Jlato, in spite of Der- Plat. 51 sq. ; 109 sq. 

ides, who sti 1 possessed his A11 testimony agrees that his 

work, and m spite of the other travels extended at least thus far 



the meagreness, and sometimes the contradictoriness y 
of the traditions, 29 it is impossible to ascertain with cer- 

For his travels in Egypt, we may 
quote his acquaintance with Egyp 
tian institutions (vide page 358, 
note 2 ) . The order of the j ourney s 
is variously given. According to 
Cicero, Republic, i. 10; De Fini- 
bus, v. 29, 87 ; Valerius Maximus, 
viii. 7, ext. 3 ; Augustine, De 
Civitate Dei, viii. 4, he went 
first to Egypt, and then to Italy 
and- Sicily. It should be re 
marked, that Valerius, like the 
declamator he is, transfers the 
date of the travels to the period 
when Plato had become famous. 
On the other hand, Diogenes iii. 
(with whom is Quintilian, Insti 
tutes, i. 12, 15), makes him visit 
Cyrene first, then the Pythagoreans 
in Italy, then Egypt (accompanied 
by Euripides, who had died some 
time before, however), and thence 
return to Athens. According to 
Apuleius, Dogin. Plat. i. 3 ; and 
the Prolegomena, c. 4, he went first 
to Italy to visit the Pythagoreans, 
then to Cyrene and Egypt, and 
thence -back again to Italy and 
Sicily. The most credible of these 
statements is the first. We can 
scarcely suppose that Plato visited 
Italy twice running (the 7th Pla 
tonic letter, 326 B, only knows of 
one Italo-Sicilian journey), while 
everything is in favour of Sicily s 
having been the end of his travels 
(vide subter). And the opposite 
account gives us an unhistoric 
motive in the assertion of Apuleius 
and the Prolegomena, that he 
visited Cyrene and Egypt to inves 
tigate the sources of Pythagorean- 
ism. The conjecture of Stallbaum, 
Plat. PoHt. 38 ; Plat. Opp. i. xix., 
that Apul. is following Speusippus, 

is quite indemonstrable. Accord 
ing to Diog. 7, he had intended to 
visit the Magi (and according to 
Apul. loc. cit., the Indians too), 
but was prevented by the wars in 
Asia. Lactantius, Institut. 4, 2, 
actually makes him travel to the 
Magi and Persians ; Clemens, Co- 
hortationes 46, to the Babylonians, 
Assyrians, Hebrews, and Thra- 
cians. Cicero, Tusculans, 4, 19, 44. 
speaks of the ultimse terras which 
lie had explored ; according to 
Olymp. 4, Prolegg. 4, he had been 
initiated in the doctrines of Zoro 
aster by Persians in Phoenicia ; 
Pausanias, iv. 32, 4, repeats this, 
and says that he was also ac-. 
qnainted with Chaldean lore ; and 
according to Pliny, Natural History 
30, 2, 9, he acquired the Persian 
magic while on his travels. These, 
however, are doubtless the inven 
tions of later times, analogous to 
the tales about Pythagoras, and 
perhaps to some extent modelled 
on them. A still more palpable 
fiction is the alleged acquaintance 
with Jews and Jewish Scriptures, on 
which cf. Brucker, i. 635 sq. ; Her 
mann, p. 114 A, 125; with the 
writers he quotes, and the 3rd part 
of the present work, 221, 300, 2nd 
edit. Lactantius, loc. cit. wonders 
that Plato and Pythagoras had not 
visited the Jews. 

29 Diogenes 6 would lead us to 
suppose that he went from Megara 
straight to Cyrene, and from thence 
to Sicily. On the other hand, the 
7th Platonic letter makes a long 
interval of active teaching elapse 
before his coming to Megara. Vide 
next note. 


taiuty how long lie continued in Megara, when he com 
menced his travels, whether they immediately succeeded 
the Megaric sojourn, or a return to Athens intervened ; 
whether his stay in Athens was long or short; and 
whether he had or had not become a teacher of philo 
sophy before his departure. But if he really returned 
from Sicily only ten or twelve years after the death of 
Socrates, 30 there is great probability, and even some 

:!0 The only source for this is, of 
course, the 7th Platonic letter, 324 
A ; and that account becomes sus 
picious, because it is connected with 
the assertion in 325 C sq. that 
even before his journeys Plato 
had ^acquired and expressed the 
conviction, KaKuv ou X^eif ra dv- 
6puTriva 76/77, irpiv CLV % r b rCov 
<f)i.\o<ro(t>ovvTuv 6p#cDs ye /cat d\r)0u$ 
7&os et j dpxds t\0ri rds TroXm/cas 
i) TO T&V vva.aTtv6vTuv ev rats 
Tr6\ecrii> %K TWOS /to/pas 0etas SVTUS 
$tXocro0?70-77. If with this we 
compare Kep. v. 473 C, we can 
hardly doubt that the above quoted 
words are to be referred to this 
place in the Republic. Conse 
quently, the composition of the 
Republic must be dated before 
Plato s first Sicilian journey. But 
this (vide subter) is in the highest 
degree improbable. At the same 
time, the statement of the letter 
as to Plato s age at the time of his 
journey receives a confirmation 
which has been noticed by Stall- 
baum, Plat. Polit. p. 44, in cor 
recting his earlier theory (De Ar- 
gumentoetArtificio Theseteti, 13), 
that Plato did not return till the 
year 386. The confirmation is 
this. ^ On his way back from Sicily, 
Plato is said to have been sold for 
a slave at Dionysius instigation, 

in ^Egina, and, according to an 
apparently accurate account in 
Diog. iii. 19, his execution was 
actually debated on, as a plebiscite 
punished all Athenians who entered 
the island with death. ^Egina, 
therefore, must at this time have 
been at open war with Athens. 
Now, according to Xenophon, Hel- 
lenica, v. 1, 1, this state of things 
cannot be dated before the last 
years of the Corinthian war; up 
to that time, the intercourse 
between Athens and JEgina had 
received no check. This would 
give us 389 or at most 390 B.C., 
and we may therefore accede to 
the views of Hermann (p. 63) and 
almost all the later writers, that 
it was about this time that Plato 
returned to Athens. Grote, Hist, of 
Greece, xi. 52, would date his arri 
val at Syracuse not earlier than 
387 ; on the ground that Dionysius 
would hardly have had leisure, 
before that time, during his war 
with Pihegium, to attend to tho 
philosopher. We need not, how 
ever, attach much importance to 
this argument ; and, according to 
Diodorus, xiv. 110 sq., the con 
quest of Khegium dates later than 
the_ peace of Antalcidas, after 
which the treatment experienced 
by Plato in JEgina was impossible. 



external evidence, 31 that long before his journey he had 

the dialogue must refer to the first 
period, 39. The date of its com- 
position cannot be much later ; the 
introduction almost a dedication 
to Euclid points to a time at 
which Plato had not so decidedly 
broken with the Megara School as 
he has in the Sophist, and gives us 
the impression that it relates to- 
matters still fresh in the Greek 

Some time, too, must be allowed 
between Plato s arrival and his 
departure. Tennemann, Platon s 
Philosophic, i. 46, inclines to the 
belief that Plato s first appearance 
in the Academy was in 01. 99 : an 
opinion which needs no special 
refutation, in face of the previous 
remarks and the facts to be pre 
sently adduced. 

31 We may not be inclined to 
give much weight to the expres 
sions of the 7th letter on this 
point (quoted on pp. 15, 28; 17, 30), 
or to Valerius Maximus, both being 
too little trustworthy. But the 
theory is undoubtedly favoured by 
the circumstance that we possess 
a series of important works of 
Plato s, composed in all probability 
before his return from Sicily, and 
at least some of them after his 
sojourn at Megara. The first of 
these is the Theaetetus. The oc 
casion of the dialogue is connected 
with ^a meeting with Theaetetus, 
who is returning sick to Athens 
from the army at Corinth. This 
can only refer to the Corinthian 
War, B.C. 394-387. Munk (Nat. 
Ordn. d. PI. Schr. 391 sq.) and 
Ueberweg (Exam, of Plat, writings, 
227 sq.) make the reference to B.C. 
368 : cf. Diodor. 15, 68. At that 
date, however, Thesetetus would 
have been no longer under any 
obligation to take part in a foreign 
campaign, and the dialogue would 
have to be dated later than various 
considerations, to be brought for 
ward presently, will warrant. Be 
tween the two dates given there 
was no Athenian army at Corinth. 
In its later years the Corinthian 
war was carried on by Athens with 
mercenaries only (Xen. Hell. 4, 4, 
1 ; 14 : Diodor. 14, 86, 91 sq.), so 

reader s mind. (Ueberweg, p. 235, 
thinks such a dedication awkward ; 
I only say that the frame in which 
the dialogue is set amounts to a 
dedication. Cicero has dedicated 
his Posterior Academics to Varro 
in the same way.) Munk and 
Ueberweg object" that if Plato 
wrote the Theastetus so early, he 
must have foreseen Theretetus 
achievements in mathematics, at 
tested by Proclus in Eucl. p. 19, 
25. But Socrates does not say 
(Theaet. 142 D) that Theaetetus will 
live to be a distinguished mathe 
matician ; he only predicts that he 
will become an e\\6yifjios a.vf)p ; 
and there was no reason why he 
should not have said this at the 
date 392-388. If Thesetetus is 
called (143 E sq.) /meipaKiov in B.C. 
399, it does not follow that he was 
no more than 16, as Munk thinks ; 
in the Symposium 223 A, Agathon, 
at the time of his first victory, is 
called fj.eLpa.KLov ; and in Plutarch, 
Pericl. 36, Pericles betrothed son & 
is denoted by the same title : on 
the other hand, These tetus is 
called avT]p in page 144 D. Several 
other works (vide subter) seem to 
have preceded the Thecetetus, and 
probably most of them were com 
posed at Athens : Plato could not 
have given the requisite pains and 
concentration while on his travels ; 
and to suppose them written at 


settled in Athens, 32 and there worked as teacher and 
author; even granting that at this period his instruc 
tions were confined to a select few, and that the open 
ing of his school in the Academy took place later on. 3 * 
What, in this case, we are to think about the journey 
to Egypt and Gyrene whether the visit to Sicily was 
" imediately connected with it, or whether 34 Plato first 

sturned t3 Athens from Egypt, and only undertook 
the Italian journey after an interval of some years, 

mnot be certainly determined, but there is a good deal 
favour of the latter alternative. 35 

-legara would be to assume a 
longer residence there than our 
evidence warrants. (See following 
note.) Some Irace of such a stay, 
beyond the notice in Hermodorus, 
would naturally have been pre 
served. The sharp polemic of the 
Thesetetus, (which Hermann, 499, 
and Steinhart, I Mat. Werk. iii. 81, 
556, appear to be wrong in ignor 
ing), and the probably contem 
poraneous Euthydemus against 
Antisthenes (vide supra, pp. 248, 
1, 4 ; 252, 3 ; 254, 1 ; 255, 2 ; 
25G, 1 ;) might indeed warrant 
the conjecture, that at the time 
when he wrote these dialogues, 
Plato had already had some per 
sonal encounters with Euclid, and 
known him as his opponent in 
Athens. If at this period Plato 
bad already passed some years of 
literary activity at Athens, we can 
hardly imagine that the philosopher 
who will only allow a written 
document as a reminder to oral 
delivery (IMiscdrus 276 D sq.) 
should have refrained from enun 
ciating his views in personal inter 
course with others. 
32 If fear for his personal safety 

was the reason of his retire 
ment to Megara, he must soon 
have been enabled to return home 
without danger; and again, as 
the philosophic intercourse with 
Euclid, supposing this to be Plato s 
object, could just as well be 
enjoyed from the neighbouring 
Athens, it is impossible to see 
what could detain the philosopher 
a year at Megara. 

33 Grote agrees with the above, 
Plato i. 121. He rightly considers 
it highly improbable that Plato 
should have spent the 13 (strictly 
speaking 10-12) years before his 
return from Sicily in voluntary 

^ As Steinhart conjectures, P f. 
W. iii. 100, 213, 316, 473. 

35 Most of our authorities take 
it for granted that he came straight 
from Egypt to Italy. But the 
varying accounts of the order of 
his travels, noticed above, show 
the utter want of exact informa 
tion on the point. The 7th letter 
is silent about the journey to 
Egypt ; if we are to follow it, we 
must conclude that he went 
straight from home to Italy; and 




If, indeed, Plato had already attained to manhood 
when he visited the countries of the south and west ; 
had already, that is, before his personal acquaintance 
with the Italian Pythagoreans, found the scientific 
bases of his system, and laid them down in writings, 36 
these journeys cannot have had the striking effect on 
his philosophical development which is often ascribed 
to them in ancient and modern days. Besides the 
general enlargement of his views and knowledge of 
human nature, his chief gain from them seems to have 
consisted in a closer acquaintance with the Pythago 
rean school 37 (whose principal written book he appears 
to have purchased), 38 and in a deeper study of. mathe- 

Plutarch s statement (Plut. de Ge- 
nio Socratis 7, p. 579), which makes 
Plato visit Delos on his return 
from Egypt, perhaps goes on the 
presupposition that he was not on 
a voyage to Italy, but to Athens. 
The main point, however, is that 
this theory gives the easiest ar 
rangement of his works with 
reference to his life. The Politicus 
shows traces of his acquaintance 
with Egypt (vide subter, p. 22, 41). 
But on these points conjecture is 
all that is possible. 

36 We shall see presently that 
the Theoetetus and dialogues of the 
same date presuppose the doctrino 
of Ideas, and a certain acquaint 
ance with Pythagorean tenets. 

37 The details on this point seem 
to rest on mere conjecture. Cicero, 
loc. cit , names Archytas, Eche- 
crates, Timseus, and Acrion, or 
Arion (Valerius Maximus adds 
Ccetus), as Pythagoreans, whose 
acquaintance he had made at that 
time. Olympiodorus gives Archy 
tas, (the name of Timseus seems to 

have dropped out) ; Apuleius, loc. 
cit., Eurytus and Archytas; Dio 
genes, Eurytus and Philolaus (the 
latter can scarcely have been alive 
at the time). Cf. Bockh, Philol. 
5 sq. ; and Pt. 1, p. 287, of the 
present work. 

i8 The first writer known to us 
who mentions the purchase of 
Philolaus works by Plato is 
Timon the Sillographer, 
Gellium, iii. 17. He only 
however, that Plato bought a small 
book for a large price, and with its 
help wrote his Timaeus. That the 
purchase was made on his travels, 
he does not say ; nor does the 
price of the book as given 
Gellius, 10,000 denarii = 100 Attic 
mime seem to come from him. 
On the other hand, Hermippus, 
ap. Diog. viii. 85 (about B.C. 230), 
says, on the authority of a writer 
not named, but doubtless an Alex 
andrian, that Plato, on his visit to 
Sicily, bought Philolaus work 
from his relations for 40 Alexan 
drine mince, and copied his Timseus 



matics. To this study, Theodorus is said to have in 
troduced him, 33 and we have at any rate no proof against 
the correctness of the statement. 40 He may have re 
ceived further mathematical instruction from Archytas 
and other Pythagoreans, so that we can scarcely be 
wrong in connecting with this journey his predilection 
for the science, 41 and his remarkable knowledge of it : 42 

from it. Others (ibid.) say that the 
book was a present in acknow 
ledgment of Plato s having ob 
tained the freedom of one of 
Philolaus scholars from Dionysius. 
Cicero, Hep. i. 10, says less de 
finitely that Plato acquired it 
during his stay in Sicily. Accord 
ing to Satyrus ap. Diog. iii. 9, 
viii. 15 (followed by lamblichus 
de vita Pythagorica, 199) it was 
not Plato himself, but Dion by his 
commission, who bought it for 100 
minse. This sum, adds Diogenes, 
he could easily afford ; for he is 
said to have been well off, and, as 
Onetor tells, to have received from 
Dionysius more than eighty talents. 
(The latter statement is not merely 
exaggerated, but plainly fictitious ; 
cf. also Diog. ii. 81, and page 
312, 2.) Tzetzes, Chiliades x. 
790 sq., 999 sq., xi. 37, makes 
Dion buy it for him from Philo- 
laus heirs for 100 minse. We may 
probably agree with Bo ckb, Phi- 
lologus 18 sq., Susemihl, Genet. 
Entwickl., 1, 2, sq., and Steinhart, 
PI. < . ll .t, sq., in saying that 
Plato certainly was acquainted 
with the work of Philolaus, per 
haps actually possessed it ; but 
beyond this, when, where, and how 
he acquired it, cannot be deter 
mined, owing to the contradictory, 
ambiguous, and partially improb 
able nature of the accounts that 

have come down to us. A priori, 
it would be more likely that it 
came to him at Athens through 
the instrumentality of Simmias 
and Cebes. The Prolegomena, c. 
5, transfer the myth of the world 
soul to the pseudp Timseus. 

39 Diog. iii. 6 ; Apul. loc. cit. 
That Plato was acquainted with 
Theodorus seems probable from 
the Thesetetus, 143 D sqq., and the 
opening of the Sophist and Poli- 
ticus. The acquaintance had 
doubtless been made at Athens. 
Theodorus had visited Athens 
shortly before the death of So 
crates. (Plato, loc. cit. ; and cf. 
Xen. Memor. iv. 2, .10.) 

40 The possibility, of course, re 
mains that the journey to Gyrene 
was a mere invention, in order to 
assign to Plato the mathematical 
teacher on whom he bestows the 
acknowledgment of mention. 

41 We shall see later on what 
significance Plato attached to ma 
thematical relations, and how much 
he valued a scientific knowledge of 
them. They are to him the pecu 
liar connecting link between Idea 
and Phenomenon ; and thus the 
knowledge of them is the inter 
mediate step, leading from sensuous 
envisagement to rational contempla 
tion of the idea. Cf. Plut. Qusest. 
Conviy. viii. 2 init. ; Philop. de 
An. D, 0, o. David Schol. in Arist. 


while, on the contrary, the stories about the mathema 
tical lore, priestly mysteries, and political ideas which 
he is stated to have acquired in Egypt, 43 are in the 

26, a, 10 ; Tzetz. Chil., viii. 972 sq. 
ascribe to him, without sufficient 
authority, the inscription over his 
lecture-room, ju^Seis cfyew/^r/oTjTOS 
dalrw, which is generally stated to 
have been of Pythagorean origin. 

42 Vide Ciceron. de Oratore, i. 
50, 217 ; and Proclus in Euclidem, 
ii. 19, who notices him as one of the 
most important contributors to the 
advance of mathematical science. 
Phavorinus apud Diog. iii. 24, and 
Proclus, loc. cit. and p. 58, attribute 
the invention of analysis and the 
conic section to him. Both state 
ments, however, are doubtful ; 
Proclus himself, p. 31, gives 
Menjcchmus as discoverer of the 
conic section. See, however, Ideler 
on Eudemus, Abh. d. Berl. Ak. 
1828, Hist. Phil. Kl. S. 207, for 
Phavorinus statement. The tale 
of his solving the Delian problem 
(how to double a cube), while at 
the same time he found fault with 
the usual mathematical processes, 
is widely spread. Plut. de Ei. 6, 
386 ; De Genio Socratis 7, p. 519 ; 
Qusest. Conviv. viii. 2, 1, 7> p. 718 ; 
Marcellus, c. 14; Theo Sinyrn. 
c. 1. Still, the accounts are very 
mythical : he reduced the problem 
to the finding two mean propor 
tionals between two given lines. 
This may be correct. Cf. Euto- 
cius in Archim. de Sph. et Cyl. 
Archim. ed. Torelli,p. 135. Philop. 
in An. Post. p. 24, 117. (Schol. in 
Ar. 209 a, 36 b, 21 sq.) Ideler, loc. 
cit. He is also said to have in 
vented a time-piece, Athen. iv. 
174 c. In the Theeetetus, 147 D 
gqq., he puts several new arithme 

tical definitions in Thesetetus s 
mouth, doubtless his own dis 
coveries ; as the idea of stereometry, 
in Republic vii. 528 A sq., is re 
presented to be, with special refer 
ence to the a#?7 T&V Kvfiuv. For 
mathematical passages in his writ 
ings, the reader may be referred to 
Meno 82 A sq. 87 A; Rep. viii. 
546 B ; Timaeus, 35 A sqq., 31 C 
sqq., 53 C sqq. 

43 According to Cicero de Fini- 
bus, v. 29, 87, he learned from the 
Priests numeros et ccelestia (so 
Yal. Max. viii. 7, 3) ; according to 
Clemens, Cohort. 46 A (cf. Stro- 
mata, i. 303 C), he learned geo 
metry from the Egyptians, astro 
nomy from the Babylonians, magic 
from the Thracians (evidently 
reminiscence of Charmides, 156 D), 
and the rest from the Assyrians and 
Jews. Strabo (xvii. 1, 29, p. 806) 
w r as actually shown the house in 
Heliopolis where Plato had stayed 
with Eudoxus for thirteen years ! 
(For thirteen, some MSS. of tho 
Epitome read three, arbitrarily: 
vid. Strabo, ed. Kramer.) Against 
the whole statement, vid. Diog. 
viii. 86 sq. Ideler, loc. cit. 191 sq. 
Plato is said to have stayed at 
Heliopolis until he induced the 
priests to communicate some of 
their astronomical lore to him. At 
all events, they kept the greater 
part to themselves. Clemens 
(Strom, loc. cit. : cf. Diog. viii. 90) 
even knows the names of the priests 
who taught Plato and Eudoxus. 
He separates the two latter in 
time. Plut. Gen. Socr. c. 7, p. 518, 
gives him Simmias for a com- 



highest degree improbable. 44 In Sicily, Plato visited 

pan ion. Apuleius, Dogm. Plat. 
3, and the Proleg. 4, make him 
learn sacred rites in Egypt, as well 
as geometry and astronomy. Vide 
Olyinp. 5 ; Luean, Pharsalia x. 181. 
Philostratus, Vila Apollonii 1, 4, 
only speaks of geometry and as 
tronomy, which Plutarch de I side, 
c. 10, p. 354, also mentions. Quin- 
tilian, 1, 12, 15, speaks indefinitely 
of the secrets of the priests ; Dio- 
dorus, 1, 98, mentions the laws 
which Plato, like Solon and 
Lycurgus, had borrowed from 
Egypt. He is here following 
Manetho or some other Egyptian 

44 The external evidence has no 
authority per se. It belongs 
altogether to a time far removed 
from Plato s, and abounding in 
arbitrary fictions which derived 
all Greek wisdom from the East. 
Some of the oldest legends, as in 
Strabo and Diodorus, sound so in 
credible and point so plainly to 
dim Egyptian sources, that we 
cannot attach the slightest w r eight 
to them. There is no historic 
probability that Plato borrowed 
anything of importance from the 
Egyptians (vide pt. 1, p. 31 sqq.). 
And if we seek traces of the alleged 
Egyptian influence in Plato s doc 
trines and writings, we find pretty 
nearly the opposite of what, accord 
ing to those later traditions, we 
might expect. He certainly shows 
some knowledge of Egypt (Polit. 
-T.-J C, Pbscdr. 274 C) ; he makes 
use, perhaps, once of an Egyptian 
myth (Phaedr. loc. cit.) ; he derives 
another, really of his own inven 
tion, from Egypt, while he enlarges 
on the great antiquity of Egyptian 
legends (Timie. 2 1 E sqq. ) ; he 
praises particular institutions (Laws 

ii. 65(31); vii. 799; the gravity 
and religious character of the 
music, ibid. vii. 819 A ; the re 
gard paid to arithmetic in the 
popular education) ; while he 
blames ethers (loc. cit. ii. 057 A, 
d\X erepQ. 0<xf \ SLV evpois avr60i. 
Specially, in xii. 953 E, if the 
remarkable words, KaSaytp K.T.\. 
are really Plato p, he censures 
the Egyptian cruelty towards 
strangers). On the whole, he is 
inclined to disparage the moral 
condition and mental capacity of 
the Egyptians, and ascribes to 
them not the scientific, but only 
the industrial character (Hep. iv. 
435 E; Laws, v. 747 C). This 
does not look as if he were sensible 
of any great philosophic debt to 
Egypt ; and there is really nothing 
in his system to point to Egyptian 
sources. Throughout, his philo 
sophic attitude appears independent 
of any but Greek influences : the 
mathematical element in him is 
most nearly connected with Pytha- 
goreism ; (cf. p. 301, and Arist. 
Metaphysics, 1, C, init.); his re 
ligious references are confined to 
the Greek cultus ; his politics find 
their illustration only in Greek 
types and Greek circumstances. 
Even the separation of classes in 
the Republic, as will be shown in 
its place, is not to be explained as 
an imitation of the Egyptian caste- 
system. Indeed, the most marked 
feature in the Egyptian constitu 
tion, the priestly rule, is altogether 
absent in Plato ; and in the Poli- 
tictis, 290 D sqq., with express re 
ference to Egypt, he very decidedly 
disapproves of it. Cf. with the 
preceding Herm. p. 54 sqq., 112 
sqq., where there are fuller quota 
tions ; and my Part i. p. 25 sq. 


the court of Dionysius the elder. 45 But in spite of his 
close intimacy with Dion, 46 he gave great offence there 
by his plain speaking, 47 and the tyrant in wrath deli 
vered up the troublesome moraliser to the Spartan 
ambassador Pollis, by whom he was exposed for sale in 
the slave-market of ./Egina. Eansomed by Anniceris, 
a Cyreniaii, he thence returned to his native city. 48 

45 Of this there can really be no 
doubt. All our authorities are 
unanimous on the point, and Plato 
himself, in drawing the picture of 
the tyrant (Pep. viii. fin. ix. init.), 
seems to be speaking from per 
sonal experience of what he de 
scribes. The circumstances of the 
visit are variously given. We 
find, in quite ancient times, a 
calumnious story to the effect that 
it was the Sicilian kitchen which 
attracted the philosopher to Syra 
cuse. (Of. Ep. Plat. vii. 326 B 
sq ; ; Apul. Dogm. Plat. 4; The- 
mistius, Orationes, 23, 285 c. ; 
Aristides, Orationes 46 de qua- 
tuor viris, T. 301, Dind. ; Lucian, 
Parasite, 34; Olymp. 4; Diog. iii. 
34 ; vi. 25, &c. We find a similar 
account in Pbilostr. v. Apoll. 1, 35, 
v-n-ep TT\OVTOV 2i/ceXt/coO. ) The usual 
account is that he went to see the 
volcano (Diog. iii. 18 ; Apul. 4 ; 
Olymp. 4 ; Prolog. 4 ; Hegesander 
ap. Athen. xi. 507 b ; the seventh 
Platonic letter is less definite, 326 
D ; and Plut. Dion. 4, follows it, in 
saying that chance or some Divine 
guidance brought him to Sicily). 
According to Diog., Dionysius 
obliged Plato to visit him ; accord 
ing to Plutarch, it was Dion who 
introduced Plato to his brother-in- 
law. Olymp. says that he sought 
out the tyrant uninvited, to induce 
him to lay down his power. Cor 

nelius Nepos, x. 2 (with whom, in 
the main, Diodor. xv. 7 agrees), 
says that Dionysius invited Plato 
from Tarentum at Dion s request. 

46 Vide the places quoted ; 
specially the 7th Platonic letter. 
This, of course, is as little trust 
worthy as any of the other letters ; 
but it shows that Dion was gene 
rally assumed to have stood in 
close relations with Plato. For 
his alleged services to him, cf. 
IS epos, Plutarch, Cic. de or. iii. 34, 
139, and pp. 288 sq., 300, 3. 

47 Thus much is probably correct. 
The more detailed accounts in 
Plut., Diog., Olymp., loc. cit., 
appear to be mere arbitrary colour 
ings of the main fact. The anec 
dotes about Plato s meetings with 
Aristippus (referred by many to 
this period) are equally uncertain. 
Vide supra, 291, 2, 312, 2. 

48 Here too there is a great diver 
sity in the accounts. According to 
Diodorus xv. 7, Dionysius sold the 
philosopher in the Syracusan slave 
market, for 20 minze ; his friends 
freed him, and sent him to a 
friendly country. Diogenes, 19 sq., 
on Phavorinus authority, says 
that Dionysius was at first disposed 
to put Plato to death, but was dis 
suaded by Dion and Aristomenes 
and only delivered him to Pollis to 
Bell. Pollis took him to ^gina ; 
and there, in accordance with u 

PLATO S LI I 1 ! :. 


Plato seems now to have made his first formal 
-appearance as a teacher. Following the example of 
Socrates, who had sought out intelligent youths in the 
Gymnasia and other public places, he, too, first chose 
as the scene of his labours a gymnasium, the Academy, 
whence, however, he subsequently withdrew into his 
own garden, which was adjacent. 49 Concerning his 

decree of the people, Plato would 
have been executed, as being an 
Athenian, but was allowed, as a 
favour, to be sold instead. Diogenes 
adds, that Dion or other friends 
wished to repay Anniceris his 
expenses, 20 or 30 minse ; this he 
refused to take, but bought with 
it, for Plato s use, the garden in 
the Academy, the price of which is 
given in Plutarch (de exilio 10 S. 
603) as 3000 drachma? (30 mina;). 
So Heraclitus, Alleg. Homer C. 74, 
S. 150. Plutarch himself (Dion 5, 
cf. de tranquillitate animi 12, 471), 
and an account in Olympiodorus 
in Gorg. 164, say that when 
Plato had incurred Dionysius 
enmity his friends hurried him 
away on board the ship with which 
Pollis sailed to Greece (this is 
scarcely credible, if Sparta and 
Athens were then at war). Diony 
sius had given Pollis secret orders 
to kill Plato, or sell him ; and to 
effect this Pollis brought him to 
^gina. Tzetzes, Chil. x. 995 sq., 
has a wonderful version ; Plato 
was bought by Archytas from 
Pollis, and then instructed in the 
Pythagorean philosophy. Seneca 
(ep. 47, 12, and apud Lactant. 
Inst. iii. 25, 15 sq.) mentions the 
transaction, while he blames An 
niceris for only having paid 8000 
sestertii 20 minse for a Plato. 
Olympiodorus, 4, actually puts the 

whole occurrence in the second 
journey. Gottling, Geschichtlichen 
Abhandlungen 1, 369, endeavours 
to free Dionysius from the guilt of 
the sale ; but his arguments, 
doubtful in themselves, are hardly 
in accord with Plutarch s state 
ment. There is no real certainty 
in any of the various versions of 
the affair ; cf. Steinhart s critique 
(Plato s Leben, 151 sqq.). 

49 Diog. iii. 5, 7. 41 ; cf. Herm. 
121 sq., who makes the necessary 
remarks on the statements of 
Olymp. c. 6, and the Prolog, c. 4. 
According to ^lian, iii. 19, it was 
after his third Sicilian journey that 
he withdrew for some months into 
his garden, being dislodged by Aris 
totle ; which is manifestly false. 
JElian again, ix. 10, and Porphyry, 
De Abstinentia 1, 36, tell us that 
the Academy was reputed to be 
unhealthy, but that Plato refused to 
move from it for the sake of longer 
life. It could net, however, have 
been very bad ; for Plato, Xeno- 
crates, and Polemo lived to a good 
age in it. Hieron. adv. Jovin. ii. 
203, Mart., actually thinks that 
Plato betook himself to the un 
healthy spot, nt cura et assiduitate 
morborum libidinis impetus fran- 
geretur ; judging the philosopher 
rather too much by his own ex 
perience. So too ^Eneas of Gaza, 
Theophr. ed. ISarth, p. 25. 


manner of instruction tradition tells us nothing ; 50 
if we consider how decidedly he expresses himsel 
against the rhetoricians who made long speeches, bu 
knew neither how to ask questions nor how to answei 
them ; 51 and how low, on the same ground, was his esti 
mation of written exposition, open to every misunder 
standing and abuse, in. comparison with the living 
personal agency of conversation, 52 if we mark the fact 
that in his own works, the development of thought by 
dialogue is a law, from which in his long literar} 
career he allowed himself not a single noteworthy de 
parture, we can scarcely doubt that in his oral teach 
ing he remained true to these main principles. 

On the other hand, however, we hear of a discourse 
on the Good, published by. Aristotle 53 and some of his 
fellow pupils, and belonging to Plato s later years. Aris 
totle himself mentions discourses on Philosophy; 54 and 
that these were not conversations, but in their general 
character at any rate continuous discourses, is witnessed 
partly by express testimony, 55 partly by their inter 
nal evidence, which can be taken in no other way. 

: _ Olymp. 6 has not the value of statement of Aristoxenus (on An* 

a witness, and can lead us to no totle s authority), Hannonirc Ele- 

concltision of any moment. menta, ii. p. 30, and this work 

51 Prot, 328 E sqq, 334 C sqq. ; Part ii. b. 48. 2, 771, d. 2. 

Gorgias 449 B. 54 De Anima i. 2, 204 b. 18 ; on 

i S?** 11 ; 275 D sq ; 27G K the Question whether the Aristote- 

Ihe references on this point, Han books (and consequently the 

from Simplicity, Physiea 32 b, 104, Platonic discourses) on the Good 

117 ; Alexander on the Metaphy- were identical with those on phi- 

MCS 1, (I (Schol. in Aristot. 551, b. losophy, or not, vide Brandis loc. 

19); Ihiloponus Ue Anima C, 2, cit. 5 sq. ; Gr. E. Phil, ii b 1 84 

are given by Brandis, ])e perditis sq. 

A.istotelis libris de ideis et de M Aristot. loc. cit. calls them 

Bono, p. 3 sq., 23 sqq. To the d K p6a<ns, Simpl. \6yoi and cw 

tame treatise may be referred the ov<ria. 

PL A TO S LIFE. 2 7 

Also, there are many portions of the Platonic system 
which from their nature could not well be imparted 
conversationally, (it is most probable, therefore, that 
Plato, according to circumstances, made use of both 
forms ; while the supposition must be admitted that as 
in his writings, so in his verbal instruction, question 
: .and answer gave place to unbroken exposition, in pro 
portion, partly to the diminished vivacity of increasing 
years, partly to the necessary advance in his teaching, 
from preparatory enquiries to the dogmatic statement 
of his doctrine in detail) 

That, side by side with the communications intended 
for the narrower circle of his friends, he should have given 
other discourses designed for the general public, is not 
likely. 56 It is more credible that he may have brought 
his writings into connection with his spoken instruction, 
and imparted them to his scholars by way of stimulus 
to their memories. 57 On this point, however, we are 

> 6 Diog. iii. 37 (vide note 4) docs matics, astronomy, and finally of 

not warrant such a conclusion ; the the One Good. PJato certainly 

reference there seems to be to a would not expound the most ideal 

prelection in the school. On the part of his system to a miscella- 

other hand Themist., or. xxi. 295 neous concourse of hearers, as 

I), tells us that Piato once de- Themistius imagines; and, apart 

livered a discourse which a large from that, with his views as to the 

audience ilocked to hear from conditions of any fruitful study of 

Athens and the country. When, philosophy, and his low estimate 

however, he came to the doctrine of mere popular display speeches, 

ot the Good, the whole assembly, he is hardly likely to have troubled 

down to Plato s usual hearers, dis- himself with giving discourses to 

persed. Xo doubt this is only an people who had not fulfilled his 

arbitrary expansion of what Aris- requirements. 

tox. Joe. cit. tells on Aristotle s 57 Cf. Phsedr. 270 I). Instead of 

Authority, thr.t the majority of other amusement, a man might 

Plato s disciples were greatly as- write books, cavr$ re uTrtyno^ara 

tonished, in the discourse on the 6rj<Ta.vpi6/j.ti>os, ei s rb \ridrjs 7??/>as 

Good, to hear, not of things usually tai> ITOJTCU, Kal travrl rif ravrbv 

I considered good, but of mathe- I * s Atcrt6j/Tt. 



entirely without information. 58 Plato doubtless combined 
with intellectual intercourse that friendly life-in-com 
mon to which he himself had been accustomed in the 
Socratic circle and the Pythagorean Society. With a 
philosopher so little able to separate philosophic from 
moral endeavour, it might be expected that community 
of knowledge would naturally grow into community of 
life. In this way he appears to have joined his scho 
lars at stated intervals in social repasts. 59 There can 
be no doubt, from what we know of his sentiments on 
the subject, 60 that his instructions were altogether gra 
tuitous ; and if, on certain occasions, he accepted pre 
sents from some of his rich friends, 61 there is no reason 

58 The tale given by Diog. 37, 
from Phavorinus, that at the read 
ing of the Phsedo all present, ex 
cept Aristotle, gradually withdrew, 
is highly improbable. Philosophic 
interest and respect for the master 
cannot have been so scanty, even 
in Plato s inferior scholars, as to 
allow of anything of the kind, 
least of all at the delivery of such 
a masterpiece. Besides, at the 
time when Aristotle was Plato s 
pupil, the Phsedo must have been 
long published. 

69 Athenseus xii. 547, d. sqq., 
quoting Antigonus Carystius, tells 
with some censure of the extrava 
gance introduced by Lycon the 
Peripatetic at certain meals held 
on the first day of each month, to 
which the scholars contributed. 
They were connected with sacrifices 
to the Muses. Athen. continues, 
ou yap iVa crvppvtvTes M rb avro 
rrjs ws TOU dpdpiov yevofj-tvys rpa- 
irefts diro\a.ixrucrti>, % x&P<- v efrivias 
iroi-f]ffa.VTo rd? vvvbdovs rauras ol 

irepl nXdrawa /cat ETrcvcrnnroi , dXX r 
IVa 0cuVwj rcu /cat TO 
/cat 0f<rt/ccDs dXX^Xots 
fjLevoi Kdi TO ir\ei<TTOv evexev 
/cat 0tXoXo7tas. It would appear 
from this that monthly banquets of 
the Muses were an institution of the 
Academy, and with them we may 
connect the well-known tale about 
the general Timotheus, who, after a 
meal with Plato, said, With such 
company one need fear no headaches- 
to-morrow. (Plat, de sanitate tuen- 
da9, p. 127; proem.; 
Athen. x. 419 c.; JElian, V. H. ii. 
18, from the same source.) At all 
events, Athen. loc. cit. says, as of 
something well known, r6 v A/ca- 
d-rj/uiig. (rv/JLTr6(noi>, and so again i. 4- 
E, iv T( HXdrajj/os crucrcrtrta;. To 
what new Pythagorean, however, 
he is indebted for the information- 
in the second passage that the- 
number of the guests used to be 
28 (4x7) he has not informed us. 

60 On which compare Part 1. 888. 

61 Anniceris is said to have- 



:o conclude that such voluntary offerings were therefore 
customary among his disciples in the Academy. 
" Plato s sphere of work seemed to him to be limited 
to this intellectual and educational activity, more and 
f more, as experience deepened his conviction that in the 
then state of Athens, no diplomatic career was compat 
ible with the principles he held. 62 The desire, however, 
that it might be otherwise was none the less strong in 
him ; G3 and that he had not abandoned the hope of 
somehow and somewhere gratifying this desire is proved 
by his two great political works, which are designed 
: not merely to set forth theoretical ideals, but at the 
same time to exert a regulative influence on actual con 
ditions. Consequently though he, as little as his great 
master, himself wished to be a statesman, both may 

. ( bought for him the garden in the 

i Academy, Dion defrayed the ex- 

| penses for the purchase of the 

, writings of Philolaus and for 

| equipping a chorus (supra 24, 48 ; 

- (i. ;;s; 4, 5). Not one of these 

accounts is sufficiently established, 

the two first only on feeble evidence. 

The statement of the 13th Plat, 

Let. 3G1 A sq. is quite worthless. 

62 Cf. p. 13. Of the illustra 
tions given there, only the most 
apposite, Uep. vi. 49G C, need be 

Suoted here. In the present con- 
ition of society, says Plato, few 
ever succeed in devoting themselves 
to Philosophy and remaining true to 
her. Kat TOVTUV drj T^V oXiyuv oi 
yev6fj.evoi nai yevcrd/j-fvoi wy ijdu /cat 
fjLaKdpiov TO KTTJfj.a, /cat r&v TroXXuu 
a.Z t/ca^ws iSovres TTJV p,avLav, /cai6rt 
oi)oets oi Stv vyits us ^?roy eitreiv 
vepl Td TUV iroXeuv Trpdrrct o5 
i>,axos fj.ed OTOV rts luv iiri 

&v, d\X uff-rrep ets 


iKavos &v eis Traviv dypiois avrt- 
t^, irpiv TI TTJV Tr6\ 

re. /cat TO?S fiXXots &v yfroiro, 
TO.VTO. TTOLVTO. \oyi<rfj.(^ \&{i<!bv t 4)OVXJUa> 
Zx^v Kal TO, O.VTOV irpaTTUV, olov tv 
Xti.lJ.CovL Kovioprov /cat 01X775 vn6 
TTvev/j.a.TOs (pepo/Jifrov VTT& Tfi^iov 
aTrocrrcij, bpuv TOVS &\\ov$ /cara- 
Trifj.TT\a/JL^vovs dvo/JLias, dyairq.^ et 
Try ai)ros /ca^apis ddiKlas re /cat 
dvofflwv tpyuv /Stwa-crai. /c.r.X. 

63 AXXa rot, is the rejoinder, 
loc. cit., ou rd eXa^tora af dtairpa- 
izdfjLevos aTraXXdrrotro : to which 
(Socrates replies, ovdeye rd neyio-ra, 
fir] rv)(_<j0v iro\iTeias Trpoo"t]KOV(n>]S ev 
ydp Trpoo"r)KOv<7r) avrds re [taXXov 
/cat fj-erd TUIV idl&v rd 
ovcrei. Cf. ibid. v. 473 C sq. 



certainly be credited with the aim of forming states 
men ; 64 and if he repudiated political activity in cir- 

G ^ It has truly been said of a 
series of men who distinguished 
themselves by their political ac 
tivity that they came out of the 
Platonic school. However, even 
in antiquity, the opinions as re 
gards the political character of this 
school were very divided; and if 
the admirers of Plato like Plutarch 
adv. Col. 32, 6, sqq. p. 1126, bring 
into connection with him as pupils 
as many as possible of the greatest 
statesmen of his time, not seldom 
exceeding the bounds of historical 
fact, it cannot be expected that 
adversaries like Athenasus xi. 508, 
d. sqq., and his predecessors, will 
be precise about their evidence for 
the statement that the majority of 
the Platonic pupils were Tvpa.vvt.Koi 
rives Kal didfioXoi. According to 
Plutarch loc, cit. Dion (concerning 
whom vide pp. 24, 46, 32 sq.) 
belonged to Plato s pupils, together 
with Aristonymus, Phormio (Plu 
tarch Prrecepta. Keip. ger. 10, 15) 
and Menedomus, who respectively 
gave laws to the Arcadians, Eleans, 
and Pyrrhgeans (Menedemus is 
mentioned by the contemporary 
comedian Epicrates in Athenseus, 
59, d. in connection with Plato 
and Speusippus, in Plutarch Sto. 
Rep. 20, 6, p. 1043 in connection 
with Xenocrates) ; further Delius 
of Ephesus (called in Phi ostratus. 
Vit. Soph. 1, 3, p. 485 through a 
slip ^of the pen At as), who under 
Philip and Alexander was the 
active promoter of the expedition 
against Persia, together with Py- 
tho and Heraclides of ^iios, the 
murderers of the Thracian king 
Cotys (Arist. Polit. v. 10, 1311 b. 
20, mentions as such the brothers 

Parrhon and Heraclides, with 
whom Pytho appears to have con 
nected himself), the first of whorr 
is known as the speaker and agent 
of King Philip ( c f. Steinhart, Life 
of Plato 195, 322, 16); both are 
cited as Platonists by Diogenes iii. 
46. It must be from a confusion 
with the above-mentioned Hera- ; 
elides, that Demetrius of Magnesia 
according to Diogenes v. 89 as- 
signed ^the murder of a tyrant to 
Heraclides Ponticus, who bore the 
same name. Besides these we 
have Chip (the supposed writer of 
a letter in the Epist. Socrat.) and 
Leonides, who perished in the 
murder of the tyrant Clearchus of 
Heraclea (Justin xvi. 5, Suidas, 
KXtapxos, who adds to them as a ! 
third Antitheus; opposed to this 
Memnon ap. Phot. Cod. 224, p. 225, 
a. 10 sqq., says that Lysimaclms 
killed him and his brother, because 
they had murdered their mother) ; 
Euphraens of Oreos (Suid. Ei)0/>.) 
about whose influence at the court 
of^Perdiccas (to whom the Plat, 
epist. v. recommends him). Athen- 
oeus it js true (loc. cit. cf. 506, E), 
according to Antigonus of Karystus, 
expresses himself very unfavour 
ably, but who we learn from De- 
mosth. Philipp. iii. p . 126 sqq. (by \ 
which ^ Athenians account of his 
death is set right) was a martyr 
to Grecian liberty; Leo, who as 
statesman and commander defended 
his mother-city Byzantium against 
Philip. (Plut. Phoc. 14, Philostr. 
Vit. Soph. 1, 2. Suidas AeW) ; 
Hermias, prince of Atarneus, the 
well-known friend of Aristotle 
(Diog. v. 3, 5 sqq. Strabo xiii. 1, 
59, p. 610. Diodor. xvi. 52, 



umgfcances which he considered hopeless, 65 there was, at 
r lie same time, nothing in his principles to keep him 

)ionys. ep. ad. Arum. 1, 5. Suidas 
Zpfdas. Part ii. b. 1(5 sqq. 2nd 
Jit.). Besides these Diog. iii. 46, 

: ientions"Eu?eon of Lampsacus and 

1: . imolaus of Cyzicus, both of whom 

; ccording to Athenae. 508 sqq. (who 
alls the one Euagon and the other 

i imams) made unsuccessful at- 
empts to usurp tyrannical power 
11 their respective cities ; Athenaeus 
dds to them Charon of Pellene as 
no of the profligate tyrants who 
ame out of the school of Plato 
rid Xenocrates, with what justice 
i-e do not know. According to 

t- Uhenreus loc. cit. Diog. iii. 46, 
allippus, also, the murderer of 
)ion, was a scholar of Plato, which 

: tatemeut is opposed by the Plat. 

, pist. vii. 333 C ; Plut. Dion, 34. 
The Clearchus mentioned above, 
.ccording to Suidas KXtapx-, at- 
ended the Academy only a short 
irae. It is very improbable that 
habrias was a student of the 
Academy (Plut. adv. Col. 32, 6, cf. 

... seudo-Ammon, vita Arist. p. 10, 
Vest., who makes him out a rela- 
ion of Plato s). The account 
\6-yos in Diog. iii. 23 sq.)that 
^lato alone stood by him at his 
rial is worth little historically, as 
Vrist. Rhetor, iii. 10, 1411, p. 6, 
nentions another defender of ( ha- 

>rias; and the defence which in 
Diog. is put in the mouth of Plato 
)bviously originated from the 
Apology, 28 K. Timotheus (^Elian, 
^ria Hist. ii. 10, supra 28, 59) it 
s true was proved to be a friend but 
jy no means a pupil of Plato ; his 
elation to him cannot at all have 
jeen so intimate as Ps.-Ammon 
oc. cit. would have it. Phocion 
in his younger days may have 

heard Plato, and later on Xeno 
crates (Plut. Phocion, 4, adv. Col. 
32, 6) ; with regard to the latter, 
however, he must have confined 
himself to being present at isolated 
discourses. Though Chameleon 
and Polemo in Diog. iii. 46 repre 
sent the orators Hyperides and 
Lycurgus (of whom also the Pseudo- 
Plutarch vitze decem. Orat. vii. p. 
841 makes the same assertion) as 
pupils of Plato, their speeches (as 
Steinhart remarks, Plato s Life, 
174 sqq.) show no proofs of the 
influence of Platonic thought and 
expression. Still less can we claim 
^Eschines for a pupil of Pinto 
(with the scholiast on ^sch. de 
falsa legat. i., who appeals to 
Demetrius Phalereus, compare 
Apollon. Vit. JHsch. p. 14) ; and 
though Demosthenes, his great 
adversary, is variously stated, 
sometimes with greater and some 
times with less precision, to have 
been a pupil of Plato, still, how 
ever, in his orations no influence 
of Platonic philosophy appears, 
significant as may have been 
Plato s influence on him as a 
stylist. (Plut. Demosth. 5, accord 
ing to an anonymous writer in 
Hermippus, vita) X orat. viii. 3, p. 
844. Mnesistratus in Diog. iii. 47. 
Cic. de Orat. i. 20, 80. Brut. 31, 
121; Orat. iv. 15; Off. i. 4; 
Quintil. xii. 2, 22, 10, 24 ; Lucian, 
Encomium Demosthenis, 12, 47 ; 
Schol. in Demosth. contra Androt. 
40; Olympiod. in Gorg. !<; >.) 
The 5th letter attributed to him 
does not make Demosthenes to 
speak as a Platonist. but only to 
express his good opinion of the 
Platonic school, under which ho 


back from it, should there arise a favourable opportu 
nity for the realization of his ideas. 66 Such an oppor 
tunity seemed to offer after the death of the elder Dio- j 
nysius, 67 when Dion, and, at his instigation, Dionysiu; 
the younger, invited him pressingly to Syracuse. 6 

obviously does not include himself. 
Cf. Steinhart loc. cit. 175 sqq. 
Schiifer, Demosth. 1, 280 sqq. ; and 
besides the authorities mentioned 
above, particularly Hermann, Plat. 
74 sq., 119 sq. Steinhart, 171- 
189. With regard to the relations 
of Isocrates with Plato we shall 
speak later on (p. 345, 2, 2nd edit.). 
No one represents him as his pupil, 


Athenian, and particularly so 
spoken a friend of Sparta as Plate 1 
undoubtedly was, to lay down th< 
new constitution. The absurd lltl 
Platonic letter cannot come unde 
consideration as historical evi 

(i(i Plato himself lays it down a: 
a necessary condition, that phi 
losophers should not withdraw 

as he was eight or nine years older from politics. The corresponding 

than Plato, and their friendship 
asserted in Diog. iii. 8, is estab 
lished only for the earlier years 
of their lives by the writings of 

^According to Plutarch, Ad 
principem ineruditum, i. p. 779 ; 
Lucullus, C 2 ; ^Elian, V. H. xii. 
30, the people of Gyrene (beside 
whom Diog. iii. 23 and M\. V. 
H. ii. 42, give the Arcadians and 
Thebans at the founding of Mega 
lopolis) asked him for a scheme of 
laws ; but he refused both, in the 

duty is an immediate consequence 
And that this duty should onlj | 
be binding with regard to one s 
own state, would hardly be { | 
maxim with one so fully possessec 
by his political ideal as Plato. 

^ This happened 01. 103, 1, ai 
the beginning of the winter, am 
therefore 368 B.C. Diodor. xv 
73 sq. Plato s journey must b< 
assigned to the following year 
Cic. de Sen. 12, 41 (with which cf 
Part i. p. 244, 3) dates it, or at al. j 
events, according to Fin. v. 29 1 

former case because Gyrene was 87, the first journey. 405 A.U.C., 
too luxurious for him, in the latter which needs no refutation, 
because he perceived taov ^ew ov " 8 Ep. Plat. vii. 327 B sqq.: 
OdXovTas, ov Trelffeiv auroi)s Ti/j,dv ii. 311 E; iii. 316 G sq. ; Plut. 
TT]V iaovo^iav. The last statement Dion, 10 sq. (cf. c. princ. Phil. 4, 
is^vcry improbable, for Plato would 6, p. 779), who adds that the Py- 
without doubt have given them thagoreans in Italy joined their 
a constitution just as little demo 
cratic as they gave themselves; and 
moreover it is incredible that 
Epaminondas, who after the vic 
tory of Leuctra promoted the 

founding of Megalopolis for the 
protection of Arcadia against 
Sparta, should have invited an 

entreaties to Dion s. Gf. Gorn. I 
Nep., Dion, C 3, &c. The 7th | 
Platonic letter is certainly not 
trustworthy, and all the following I 
ones depend on it. What other 
sources of information Plutarch 
may have had we do not know. 
That Plato, however, did make a 


Could this potentate indeed be won over to Philosophy 
and to Plato s political beliefs (and of this Plato, or 
at any rate Dion, appears certainly to have indulged a 
hope), 69 the most important results might be expected 
to follow, not only in his own kingdom, but in all 
Sicily and Magna Gratia, indeed throughout the Hel 
lenic states. Meanwhile the event proved, only too 
soon, how insufficiently this hope was founded. When 
Plato arrived in Syracuse, the young Prince received 
him most politely, and at first showed lively interest 
in the philosopher and his endeavours; 70 but he very 
shortly became weary of these serious conversations, 
and when his jealousy of Dion, which was not entirely 
groundless, had led to an open rupture with that states 
man, and at length to the banishment of the latter, 
Plato must have been glad to escape from the painful 
position in which he found himself, by a second return 
home. 71 Nevertheless, after some years, at the renewed 

second and a third journey to accomplished on that particular 

bicily cannot be doubted. The occasion 

estimony is unanimous; and if he Diogenes counter-statement 

had not taken the journey, the iii. 21, that he asked Dionysiiw 

composer of the letter would have for land and people towards the 

had no reason for defending him realisation of \l state, ? certlinly 

on that score. That his motives false. Apul. dogm PI 4 is a 

were Actually those ascribed to misunderstanding. 
him is probable in itself, and * More detailed information 

made more so by the whole politi- but of doubtful worth may be 

ca situation; and this is borne found in Pint. Dion 13 Do Adu- 

put by the passage in the Laws, latione 7, p. 52, 20, p. 67- Pliny 

iv. , :09Lsqq, in which Hermann, Natural History vii.30 vEl Y 

p. 09, rightly recognises an expres- H. iv. 18 New* loc cit Tl,, . 

jumot the hopes which led fiato alleged meeting ofPll ^d 

Syracuse Iheae hopes, he Aristippus at thS Syracusan Court 

in ro^ IT" f 1 " 8 ha . ve not , f f lcd h;ls been already discussad, Part i 
n regard to their universal foun- pp. 291 2 312 3 
;ion, even though they were not " Ep. Plat. iii. 229 B sqq., iii. 




solicitations of the tyrant and entreaties of his friends, 
he resolved upon yet another voyage to Sicily. His 
immediate aim was doubtless to attempt a reconciliation 
between Dion and Dionysius ; 72 to this may have linked 
themselves more distantly, new political hopes : the 
undertaking, however, turned out so unfortunately that 
Plato was even in considerable danger from the mis 
trust of the passionate prince, 73 and only evaded it by 
the intervention of the Pythagoreans, who were then at 
the head of the Tarentine state. Whether, after his 
return, 71 he approved of Dion s hostile aggression on 
Dionysius, we do not know ; 75 but for his own part, from 

318 C ; Plut. Dion 14, 16 ; Diog. 
iii. 21 sq. The latter assigns to 
this journey what, according to 
better authorities, happened in the 
third ; and he therefore puts an 
incident in the first, which Plu 
tarch relates of the second. Cf. 
also Stobseus, Florilegium, 13, 36, 
who, however, connects with it a 
circumstance generally told of 
Dionysius and Aristippus. 

72 Dion, who appears in the two 
previous journeys as Plato s enthu 
siastic admirer, had, according to 
Plutarch, Dion 17, become still 
more intimate with him during a 
long stay at Athens, in the course 
of which he also became a close 
friend of Speusippus. 

73 Ep. Plat. iii. 316 D sqq. ; 
vii. 330 B ; 33 D ; 337 E sqq. ; 
and from these sources Plutarch, 
Dion 18-20 ; Maximus Tyrius, Dis- 
Kertationes xxi. 9 ; Diog. 23. The 
particulars are uncertain ; the 
letter of Archytas ap. Diog. 22 is 
certainly spurious. According to 
Plut. c. 22 (cf. Ep. Plat. ii. 314 D) 
Speusippus accompanied him to 

Syracuse ; according to Diog., 
Xenocrates. He is said to have 
left the conduct of his school at 
Athens during his absence to 
Heraclides. (Suidas, voc. Hpa- 
/cAe/Sijs.) The Epistolse Hera- 
clidis, quoted there by Ast, and 
even by Brandis the former in 
PI. Leben u. Schr. p. 30, the latter 
Gh.-Ptom. Phil. ii. a. 145 do not 
exist. The quotation is due to a 
misunderstanding of Tennemann s 
words, Plat, Phil. i. 54 ; Suidas 
in Heraclides Epistol. (Platonicse 
sc.} ii. p. 73 (Bipont.). 

74 According to Ep. vii. 350 B 
(cf. p, 345 D) this must be dated 
in the spring of 360 K.C., for he 
is said to have met Dion at the 
Olympic games (which can only be 
those of the year named) and in 
formed him of events in Syracuse. 
His hither journey would then be 
361. Cf. Herm. p. 66. 

75 Plutarch, adv. Col. 32, 6, p 
1126. Cic. de Orat. iii. 34, 139, 
and JEIian, V. H. iii. 17, represent 
the impulse as coming from Plato. 
But this is an exaggerated infer- 


this time, having now attained his seventieth year, he 
seems to have renounced all active interference with 
politics. 70 The activity of his intellect, however, con 
tinued amidst the reverence of countrymen and 
foreigners, 77 unabated till his death, 78 which, after a 
happy and peaceful old age, 79 is said to have overtaken 
him at a wedding feast. 8u 

ence from Ep. Plat. vii. 326 E. 
Cf. Ep. iv. Dion found warm sup 
port from .Speusippus and other 
Platonists, Plut, Dio. 22, 17. His 
companion and subsequent enemy, 
Callippus, is noticed as a scholar 
of Plato s (vide p. 31). 

" Athenseus, xi. 506, indeed 
says that he was intimate with 
Archelaus of Macedonia, and later 
on, paved the way for Philip s 
supremacy : so that we might infer 
his sympathies to have been in 
general with the Macedonian party. 
As regards Archelaus, however, the 
statement is refuted by chrono 
logy, and by the Gorgias, 470 D 
sq. ; and the alleged support of 
Philip narrows itself down, even on 
Athenzens s own quotations, to the 
circumstance that Plato s scholar 
Eophrseus had obtained for Philip 
a certain territory from Perdiccas, 
and this Philip used for the fur 
therance of greater designs. Any 
personal intercourse between Plato 
and Philip there does not seem to 
have been. M\. V. H. iv. 19, cer 
tainly says that Philip paid honour 
to Plato, as to other learned men ; 
but, according to Speusippus ap. 
Athen. loc. cit., and Diog. 40, he 
expressed himself unfavourably 
about him. 

77 Cf. (besides what has been 
quoted, p. 32, 65, and about his 
relation, to Dion and Dionysius) 

Diogenes, 25, and what will be 
presently remarked on the exten 
sion of the Platonic school. 

78 Of his literary works this is 
expressly witnessed (vid. supr. p. 
3, and Diog. 37; Dionys. comp. 
verb. p. 208 ; Quint, viii. 6, 64 ; on 
which however cf. Susemihl, Gen. 
Ent. 11, 90 sq.). And we may 
safely conclude that it was the 
same with his activity as teacher. 
The alleged interruption of his 
work by Aristotle will be dis 
cussed later in the life of that 

79 Cicero, de Senect. 5, 13. 

* Hermippus ap. Diog. iii. 2. 
Augustine, C. D. viii. 2. Suid. voc. 
n\dr. Cicero s scribens est mor- 
tuus, loc. cit., is not at variance 
with this latter, if we remember 
that it need not be taken literally. 
According to Diog. 40, a certain 
Philo had used the proverbia 
expression ITXarui/os 00e~/>es; and 
Myronianus concluded from this 
that Plato died of <f>9etpla<ns, as it 
is said Pherecydes and others did. 
Of course this is false. Perhaps 
the expression comes originally 
from the place in the Sophist, 
227 B ; or the passage may at 
least have given a handle to the 
story. As to Plato s burial, monu 
ment, and will, vide Diog. iii. 25, 
41 sqq. Olymp. 6; Pausan. 1, . 50, :: : 
llerm. p. 125, 1 ( J7. 



Even in antiquity, the character of Plato was the 
subject of many calumnies. 81 The jests of the comic 
poets which have come down to us 82 are indeed harm 
less enough, and concern the philosoper more than 
the man ; but there are other reproaches, for the 
silencing of which Seneca s apology 83 that the life 
of a philosopher can never entirely correspond with 
his doctrine, is scarcely sufficient. On the one hand, 
he is accused of connections, which, if proved, would 
for ever throw a shadow on his memory; 84 on the 
other of unfriendly, and even of hostile behaviour 
towards several of his fellow disciples. 85 He has 

81 One of these critics of Plato 
wasTimeeus the Locrian, Plut. Nic. 
1 ; two others we shall meet with 
in Aristoxenus and Theopompus, 
the pupils of Isocrates, who, iu 
this way, retaliated for the attacks 
of Plato and the Platonists on 
Isocrates and Rhetoric : of. Dion. 
Hal. ep. ad Pomp. p. 757 ; De prsec. 
Hist. 782; Athen. xi. 508 c. Eplct. 
Diss. 11, 17, 5. 

8 - Ap. Diog. iii. 20 sq. ; Athen. 
ii. 59 c. sq. ; xi. 509 c. 

83 Vitabeata, 18, 1. 

81 Vide Diog. 29 ; ^lian, V. H. 
iv. 21; Athen. xiii. 589 c., and 
supra, p. 8, 8. Even Dion is 
here called his favourite ; and an 
epitaph is quoted, which Plato (at 
the ago of seventy-three) is said to 
have composed on his friend, who 
must have been sixty at least. 
That Antisthenes alluded to some 
amours of Plato s by the title of 
his Sdtfwi is a mere arbitrary con 
jecture. The censure of Dicrear- 
chus ap. Cic. Tusc. iv. 34, 71, is 
levelled not at his character, but 
his philosophy. On the other 

hand, Suidas, p. 3000, ed. Gaisforci, 
affirms that he never entered into 
any sexual relations. But this, 
again, can only be a dogmatic 
invention, originating with the 
asceticism of later schools. 

85 The only hostility that can be 
demonstrated, however, is between 
Antisthenes and Plato; vide Part i. 
255, and supra, p. 18, 31 . Antisthe 
nes is allowed on all hands to have 
been the aggressor, and always to 
have displayed the greater vehe 
mence and passion. The assertion 
that Plato behaved ill to ^Eschincs 
has been discussed, Part i. p. 107, 6 ; 
204, 3; and his alleged neglect of 
him in Sicily (Diog. ii. 61) is con 
tradicted by Plut. de Adul. c. 26, 
p. 67 . He certainly passed censure 
on Aristippus, vide Part i. p. 242 ; 
but it was well merited, and we 
may well believe there was no love 
lost between them, even though 
the anecdotes of their meeting in 
Syracuse (vide Part i. p. 291, 2) do 
not tell us much, and the accounts 
of a certain Hegesander ap. Athen. 
xi. 507 b. still less. At all events, 


also been charged with censoriousness and self-love ; S(i 
not to mention the seditions behaviour after the death 
of Socrates which scandal has laid to his account. 87 His 
relation with the Syracusau court was early 88 made the 
handle for divers accusations, such as love of pleasure, 80 
avarice, 90 flattery of tyrants ; yl and his political character 

what we do know cannot turn to 
Plato s disadvantage. We get re 
peated assertions of an enmity 
existing between Plato and Xeno- 
phon (Diog. iii. 34; GoJl. N. A. 
any, . 5; Athen. xi. 504 e.). But 
Bockh has shown (de simultate qua) 
Platoni cum Xenophonte inter- 
cepisse fertur, Berlin, 1811) how 
little ground there is for such a 
belief in the writings of either; 
and the writings are the only real 
authority. Most likely the whole 
story is an invention. Cf. Stein- 
hart, PI. L. 93 sq. 

* Dionysius ad Pompeium, p. 
775^.; Athen. xi. 500 a. sqq.; 
Antisthenes and Diogenes ap. 
Diog. vi. 7, 20; Aristides de 
quatuorviris. The accusation is 
mainly grounded on Plato s 
writings, which cannot be said to 
justify it, however one-sided many 
of his judgments may be. The 
conscious superiority, to which he 
had a real right, may have been 
too prominent in particular cases; 
even disadvantageoiisly so, some 
times, for others. Cf. the quota- 
lion from Aristotle, Part i. p. 289, 2. 
Hut this can hardly bear out such 
accusations as the above. Of the 
anecdotes given in Plutarch de 
adul. c. 32, p. 70 ; ^Elian, V. H. 
xiv. 33 (Diog. vi. 40) ; the first is 
irrelevant, the second certainly 
untrue; and what Hermippus ap. 
Athen. xi. 505 d., gives, looks un- 
historical too. Aristoxenus apud 

1 >iog. ix. 40, taxes Plato with the 
childish design of buying up and 
destroying the writings of Demo- 
critus. But of this we may un 
hesitatingly acquit him. Aris 
toxenus is too untrustworthy a 
witness ; and we may at least 
credit Plato with the sense to see 
that a widely spread mode of 
thought could not be abolished by 
the burning of a few books. His 
own distaste for merely material 
science and his general disparage 
ment of such studies may perhaps 
account for his never mentioning 
the physicist of Abdera. 

87 Hegesander ap. Athen. xi. 
507 a. sq. ; the falsehood of the 
statements need not be pointed out 
to any reader of the Phaedo or the 
Symposium. The dream of So- 
crates related ibid, is a malicious 
parody of that mentioned above, 
p. 9, 15. 

18 The seventh Platonic letter is 
a refutation of such charges. 
According to Diog. iii. 34 ; vi. 25, 
the charges were openly made even 
in Plato s lifetime. 

19 Vide p. 23, 45. 

)0 Philpstr. v. Apoll. 1, 35; 
Diog. iii. 9. The anonymous 
assertion in Arson. Violet, ed. Katz, 
508, and the Florilegium Mona- 
cense (Stob. Flor. cd. Meineke, 
T. iv. 285), No. 227, that in old 
age he became avaricious, is of the 
same kind. Seneca, v. 0, 27, 5, 
remarks that he was reproached 



has especially suffered at the hands of those who were 
themselves unable to grasp his ideas. 92 Lastly, if we 
are to believe his accusers, he not only, as an author, 
allowed himself numerous false assertions 93 respecting 
his predecessors, but also such indiscriminate quotation 
from their works, that a considerable portion of his own 
writings can be nothing more than a robbery from 
them. 94 All these complaints, however, so far as we are 

for taking money. Others say (v. 
supr. Part i. p. 312, 3; and Diog. 
ii. 81) that he did not do so even at 
Syracuse. The seventh letter re 
cognises no reason for defending 
him against the charge. 

91 Diog. vi. 58. Against which 
it is unnecessary to refer to Plut. 
Dion 13, 19, and the quotations on 
p. 24, 47. 

92 The quotations given by 
Athenaeus, xi. 500 e. sqq., 508 d. 
sqq., have but little importance. 
Some are plainly untrue (vide 
supra, p. 34, 76), or misrepresenta 
tions ; and the rest, even if true, 
would not have much reference to 
Plato himself. On the other hand, 
we may see from the places quoted, 
pp. 29, 62 ; 32, 68, that Plato had 
occasion to explain his political 
inactivity and his relation to the 
younger Dionysius. And we may 
expect to find that both were cast 
in his teeth, just as his political 
idealism and his preference for 
aristocratic government must neces 
sarily have given offence. Of. also 
Hep. v. 472 A, 473 C, E. 

93 Cf. the list of offences in 
Athen. v. c. 55, 57-61 ; the correc 
tion of which we may spare our 
selves, together with the absurd 
complaints about the fictitious 
speeches which he puts in the 

mouth of Socrates and other : 
xi. 505 e. 507 c. ; Diog. 35. 

91 So he is said to have borrowe d 
from Philolaus writings for his 
Timams (v. supr. 20, 38), and from 
a work of Protagoras tor the Re 
public (Aristox. and Phav. ap. 
Diog. iii. 37, 57). According to 
Porphyry ap. Euseb. Praeparatio 
Evangelica, x. 3, 24, he is indebted 
to the same source for his objec 
tions to the Eleatics. Alcimus ap. 
Diog. iii. 9 sq., reproached him 
with having taken the foundations 
of his system from Epicharmus : 
Theopompus, ap. Athen. xi. 508 c., 
said that he borrowed most of his 
dialogues from Aristippus, Antis- 
thenes, and P>ryso. With regard 
to Epicharmus, the assertion is 
groundless, as has been shown in 
Vol. i. 428 sq. To the statements 
of Aristoxenus and Theopompus 
no one who knows the untrust- 
wortbiness of the writers will be 
inclined to give much weight. The 
statement of the former (whom his 
assertions about Socrates already 
sufficiently characterise, supra, 
51 sq., 48, 54, 6, 59, 5} is im 
probable on the face of it ; if true 
at all, it can only have reference 
to some unimportant points. And 
the same applies to Theopompus s 
story (cf. supra, 36, 81), apart from 

.PL A TO X L ?< /<:. ;;;, 

in a position to test them, appear so unfounded that 
> scarcely a fraction of them will stand the process of 
r investigation; 95 and the rest are supported by such 
2 weak evidence, that they ought not to affect that 
D reverence for the character of the philosopher which 
11 is certain to ensue from the perusal of his works. So 
11 far as a man may be judged by what he has written, 
i only the very highest opinion can be formed of the 
personality of Plato. To appreciate him correctly, 
however, he must be measured by a standard that takes 
account of his natural disposition and historical place. 
Plato was a ((reek, and he was proud of being one. He 
belonged to a rank and to a family, the prejudices as 
well as the advantages of which he was content to 
share. He lived at a time when Greece had touched 
the highest point of her national life, and was steadily 
declining from political greatness. . His nature was 
ideal, adapted rather to artistic creation and scientific 
research than to practical action ; which tendency, 
nourished and confirmed by the whole course of his 
life, and the strong influence of the Socratic School, 
could not fail to be still further strengthened by his 
own political experiences. From such a temperament 
and such influences might be evolved all the virtues of 

the common Socratic element, which as to the limit and the illimitable 

Plato did not need to borrow of in the Philebus, we can find no 

anyone. _ Porphyry s assertion may fault with him for this in itself; 

possibly have some basis of truth ; and in both cases he has sufficiently 

but it can hardly redound to pointed out his sources in making 

Plato s discredit. Finally, if Plato a general reference to the Pytha- 

vvns indebted to Philolaus for the goreany, even if he has not named 

construction of the elements and Philolaus. 
other details of physical science in 9r> Vide preceding note, 
the Timaeus, and for the deductions 


a man and a philosopher, but nought of the grandeur 
of a politician. Plato might desire the very best for 
his country, and be ready to sacrifice for her sake 
everything except his convictions : but that he should 
have thrown himself into the turmoil of political life, 
for which he was quite unfitted, that he should have 
lavished his soul s strength in propping up a constitu 
tion, the foundations of which he thought rotten, 96 
that he should have used means that he felt to be use 
less to stem the torrent of opposing fate, that he, like 
Demosthenes, should have led the forlorn hope among 
the ruins of Grecian freedom, would be too much to 
expect. His province was to examine into State prob-l 
lems and the conditions of their solution ; their prac-1 
tical realization he abandoned to others. Thus inner 
disposition and outward circumstances alike designed 
him for philosophy rather than state- craft. But even 
his philosophy had to be pursued differently from that 
of Socrates, nor could his habits of life exactly resemble 
his master s. He desired to be true in the main to 
the Socratic pattern, and by no means to return to the 
mode of teaching adopted by the Sophists. 97 But aim- j 
ing as he did at the formation and propagation of a 
comprehensive system, aphoristic conversation, condi 
tioned by a hundred accidental circumstances, was not 
enough for him ; he wanted more extensive machinery, 

96 Vide supra ; p. 20, 02 ; cf. p. 888 sq.), but he also censured 
latter 11. 171 sqq. the form in which the Sophistic 

97 He not only took no fees for doctiine was enunciated (Protaff 
his teaching (Diog. iv. 2, and 828 E sqq. ; 334 C sq. ; Gorg. 449 
Proleg. c. 5, cf. p. 314, 4), strongly B. sq. ; Hipp. Min. 373 A. Cf. 
disapproving of the Sophists con- supra, p. 26, 51). 

duct in this respect (vide Vol. i. 


at skilled labour, intellectual quiet ; lie wanted hearers 
fo: who would follow his enquiries in their entire connec- 
ifc tion, and devote to them their whole time ; his philoso- , 
i!c phy was forced to withdraw itself from street and mar-/ 
: ket, within the precincts of a school. 98 

^ Here already were many deviations from the 
ii. Socratic way of life ; many more sprang from Plato s 
-;own habits and inclinations, which were generally 
B. opposed to it. Simplicity and temperance were indeed 
t, required by his principles," and are expressly ascribed 
iffltohmi ; 100 but the entire freedom from wants and posses- 
tfsions to which Socrates attained, would not have suited 
Ja man of his education and circumstances. Himself 
,:full of artistic taste, he could not deny all worth to life s 
Jexternal adornments ; lul extending his scientific research 
Junreservedly to all reality, he could hardly, in ordi- 
jnary life, be so indifferent to the outward, as they who, 
! Ilike Socrates, were satisfied with moral introspection. 
Socrates, in spite of his anti-democratic politics, was,/ 
I by nature, a thorough man of the people: Plato s per-} 
sonality, like his philosophy, bears a more aristocratic) 

Cf Diog. 40 : tf er6fe 5^ *<u "i Plato j g indect| saij nofc ^ 
ra irX<rTa, K adb nvts 0acrt. have disdained a certain amount of 
luxury in domestic management 


r ep< lu 4 3 E (Di s> vi " 26 ) some of his 

q Voo v-f fi 6 41 i )l were di culed by contemporary 

\ ule the places quoted p. 28, comic writers on account of their 

; and Diog. 3!. in the game fine clothes and their haughty be 

connection we may notice the haviour. (Athena), xi. 5()9- xii 

doubtfultale in Stoba3us, Flor. 17, 544 Bq .) () n the other hand, 

36 (attributed to Pythagoras by Seneca ad Helv. 12, 4, says that 

Hot. Monac. 231), of his pouring Plato only had three slaves- his 

away the water with which he Will in Diog. iii. 42 mentions 

meant to quench his thirst, as an five. 

exercise of self-denial. 


stamp. He loves to shut himself up in his own circle, 
to ward off what is vulgar and disturbing; his interest 1 
and solicitude are not for all without distinction, bul 
only or chiefly for the elect who are capable of sharing 
his culture, his knowledge, his view of life. The aris 
tocracy of intelligence on which his State rests has dee]: 
roots in the character of Plato. But precisely to this 
circumstance are owing the grandeur and completeness 
that make his character in its particular sphere unique, 
As Plato in his capacity of philosopher unites the 
boldest idealism with rare acuteness of thought, a dis- 
position for abstract critical enquiry with the freshness 
of artistic creativeness ; so does he, as a man, combine 
severity of moral principles 102 with lively susceptibility 
for beauty, nobility and loftiness of mind with tender 
ness of feeling, passion with self-control, 103 enthusiasm 
for his purpose with philosophic calm, gravity with 
mildness, 104 magnanimity with human kindliness, 105 
dignity 106 with gentleness. He is great because he 
knew how to blend these apparently conflicting traits 

- An epitaph in Piog. 43 calls up as a model of gentleness, 
him <ru(}>poavvri irpotptpuv QVTJT&V IM Cf. the quotations in Part i. p. 

fjdei re diKaiy. 286, 9. 

10;J To this belongs the well- 105 A beautiful instance is giv 

known tale, that Plato asked a by JElian, V. H. iv. 0. 
friend to chastise his slave because 10(i Heraclides ap. Diog. 2G tells- 

he himself was angry. Another us, that in his youth he never 

version is, that he said to the slave allowed himself to laugh immoder- 

hirasclf, Luckily for you, I am ately ; and Julian, Y. H. iii. 35, 

angry ; or you would get stripes. says laughter was forbidden in the 

Plut. de educatione puerorum, 14, Old Academy. We need not take 

p. 10 ; de sera numinis vindicta, 5, either of these statements literally, 

B^ 51. Sen. de Ira iii. 12, 5; but they show that Plato was re- 

log. 38 sq. ; Stob. Flor. 20, 43, garded as a very serious character. 

57; Flor. Mon. 234. Perhaps it Another instance is given by Seneca,, 

is with reference to this story that de Ira ii. 21, 10. 
Themistius, Or. 2, 30 d., holds him 


ills- I 

ito unity, to complement opposites by means of 
fic-Ii other, to develope on all sides the exuberance of 
is ])owers and capabilities into a perfect harmony, 107 
iihout losing himself in their multiplicity. That 
iri ; loral beauty and soundness of the whole life, which 
! Mato, as a true Greek, requires before all things, 108 he 
t: as, if his nature be truly represented in his works. 
i rought to typical perfection in his own personality. 109 
<or is the picture marred by incongruity of outward 
t emblance with in ward reality, for his bodily strength and 
] -eauty have been especially recorded. 110 But through- 
ut, the most striking peculiarity of the philosopher is 
i hat close connection of his character with his scientific 
: ims, which he owes to the Socratic school. The 
aoral perfection of his life is rooted in the clearness of 
is understanding ; it is the light of science which dis 
perses the mists in his soul, and causes that Olympian 
civility which breathes so refreshingly from his works, 
n a word, Plato s is an Apollo-like nature, and it is 
fitting testimony to the impression produced by 

107 Olympiodorus says (C 6) of the statuette, a drawing of which 

Jato and Homer, dvo yap cuVcu Jahn after Braun, Mon. Ined. d. 

vxal X<?7<H>rou yeve<r6ai rravap- Instit. iii. 7, had prefixed to his 

(tvi01 - edition of the Symposium (the 

E.g. Kep. iii. 401 B sq. ; original has vanished), is the only 

i C. Phileb. 64 C_sq.; 60 A. one which bears his name and dis- 

Cf. also Panretius ap. Cic. plays any likeness. Other supposed 

use. i. 32, 79, and the verses of busts of Plato represent Asclepios 

vristotle quoted, ii. 9, 2, 2nd edit. or the bearded Pionysos. Pha- 

1 Epict. Diss. i. 8, 13, *oX6s vorinus in Diog. iii. 25 mentions a 

v U\dTui> KCLI iaxvpfc- Further statue on his tomb by Silanion. 

f. Apul. dogm. Plat, 1, arid the According to Pint. adul. et amor 

notations supra 339, 1, 242, 2, on c. 9, p. 53, Plato had high shoulders 

lato s build and gymnastic dex- which his affected admirers tried 

2nty. Among the portraits of to imitate, and according to Uiog. 

r lato (on which see Visconti, Icono- 5, a thin clear voice. 
* raphie grecqne, i. 169 [228] sq.), 



himself on his contemporaries, and by his writings o 
after generations, that many myths should have place 
him, like Pythagoras, in the closest union with the go 
who, in the bright clearness of his spirit, was to th 
Greeks the very type of moral beauty, proportion, an 
harmony. 111 

111 This view had influence in 
the celebration of his birthday 
feast, and perhaps even in the par 
ticular date assigned for it : vide 
supr. 338, 1. We find from Diog. 
2 (Olymp. i. Prol. 1), Plut, Qu. 
Conv. viii. 1, 2, 4: Apul. dogm. 
PI. 1, M\. V. H. x. 21, that even in 
Speusippus time the tale went 
that Plato was a son of Apollo. 
As throwing light on the origin 
of these stories, Stcinhart (PI. L. 
8, 36, 282) refers to the Greek 
eultus of heroes, and particularly 
to the similar stories about Alex 
ander; he indeed conjectures that 
it was owing to these same stories 
that people wished to place Plato 
as a spirit-hero beside the deified 
world-conqueror ; for we cannot 
believe that this legend belongs to 
the time of Speusippus. I think 
we are not entitled to deny the 
possibility of this ; especially as 
the stories about Pythagoras ofler 
a still closer parallel than the 
stories about Alexander (cf. Vol. i. 
265 sq.). However, it cannot be 
proved that the further amplifica 
tion of the myth was already known 
to Speusippus, according to which 
a vision had forbidden Aristo to 

touch his wife before the birth . 
her first child. At the most in 
portant crisis of his life he is sai 
to have been introduced to Socrato 
by a significant dream as the swa 
of Apollo, supra, p. 0, 15. B 
himself dreamed, just before h 
death (according to Olymp. ; 
Proleg. 2), that he had become 
swan. We may recognise tt 
theme of all these myths in tl 
Phaedo, 85 B. Later writers con 
pare him, as Physician of Soul 
with Apollo s other son, Asclepiu 
the Physician of the Body. (C 
Diog. 45 ; the idea can hardly I 
his own ; out of his epigram ( >lymj 
(3 makes an epitaph ; and the Pro 
(), with some additions, an oracle. 
The pleasing story (given in Ci< 
Div. i. 36, 78, Yal. Max. i. 6, ex 
3 ; Olymp. 1), of the bees on Hj 
mettus feeding the child Plato wit 
their honey, is brought by the Pro 
C 2, into connection with a sacr 
fice to the shepherd god Apolh 
Probably, however, it had an in 
dependent origin in the Apollin 
myth, as a natural symbol for on 
from whose lips, as from Nestor s 
flowed forth speech, sweeter thai 




HE most eloquent monument of the Platonic spirit, 
* the most important source for our knowledge of 
Platonic doctrine, are in the writings of the plilo- 
>pher himself. 1 His literary activity extends over the 
Jreater part of his life, a period of more than fifty 
ears,- and by a special favour of Fortune, it has so 
"ppened that not one of the works which he intended 
publicity has been lost. This is at any rate a 

1 Schleiermacher,Platon ? sWerke, 
Bde. 1804 (2nd edition 181G). 
t, Platon s Leben u. Schriften, 
16. Socher, 1 eber Platon s 
briften, 1820. Hermann, Ges- 
:chte und System des Platonis- 
is, 1830, p. ;J43 sqq. Hitter, 
schichte der Philosophic, vol. ii. 
1-211. Brandis, Griech.-Kom. 
il. ii. a. 151-182. Stallbaum, 
his Introductions. Steinhart, in 
3 Introductions to Plato s Works, 
nslatedby Miiller, 1850. Suckow, 
9 Wissenschaftliche und Kiinst- 
sche Form der Platonischen 
hriften, 1855. Munk, Die Natiir- 
ie Ordnung der Plat. Schriften, 
7. Susemihl, Die Genctische 
twickelungder Plat, Phil., 1855. 
berweg, Untersuchungen iiberd. 
itheit und Zeitfolge der Plat. 

Schrift., 1801. H. v. Stein, 7 
Bucher z. Gesch. d. Plat. vol. 1, 2 
1802-1864. Schaarschmidt, die 
Summlung d. plat. Schrift. 1800. 
Bonitz, Plat. Studien, 1858. Grote 
Plato, 3 vols., 1805. Kibbing, 
Genet. Entw. d. plat. Idecnlehre 
Part ii. 

-We shall find that in all pro 
bability several of his dialogues 
were composed, partly after the 
death of Socrates, partly perhaps 
even before; ancient testimony 
abundantly proves his having con 
tinued his literary labours to the 
last (vide pp. 3; 35, 78). The 
Laws are said to have been found 
unfinished after his death (Diog. 
iii._ 37), and there is also internal 
evidence that this work was his 
latest (vide subter). 




yovres, KaOdirep HXdruv iv TCU 
diaipe<re<rii> TO yap p.ffov (sc. <TT 
Xeiop) /juy^a. iroiel. Part. Anim 
1,2, 642, b. 10 ; we must not fora 
a classification of animals on dii 
ferent arrangements of the limbj 
olov robs 8pvi6as robs IJL& eV rfj8 
roi)s 5e 

reasonable inference from the fact that no reliable 
of the existence of any Platonic writing no longer in ou: 
possession has come down to us ; for the spuriousnes: 
of the lost dialogues of which we do hear 3 is beyon( 
question, 4 and some other writings which might be sup 
posed to be Platonic, the Divisions 

:! Ap. Diog. iii. 62 : MiSou/, $cu a- 
/ces, XeXiSuw, E/356/-t?7, E7rtjuei i5?js, 
ap. Athen. xi. 506, d., Ki ^uwi , ap. 
Doxopat. in Aphthon., Ixhet. Grsec. 
ed. Walz. II. 130, cf. Simpl. in 
Categ. 4 f, /3ctj. Ge/uoTo/cXT/s (un 
less this is after all merely another 
title for the Cimon, in which, ac 
cording to Athenseus, Themistocles 
was strongly criticised ; we have 
no right with Hermann to conjec 
ture Theretetus in stead of Themis 
tocles, or to assume in the Cimon of 
Athenaeus a confusion with the Gor- 
gias). Other apocryphal writings 
are given by the Arabian in Casiri s 
Biblioth. Arab. i. 302, who pro 
fesses to quote Theo. 

4 Diog. loc. cit. introduces the 
list of the above mentioned and 
some other dialogues with the 
words vo6evovTa.L b^oXoyov^vw^. 
If we consider how 7 ready the 
scholars of the Alexandrine period 
were to accept as Platonic a series 
of writings, the spnriousness of 
which we can scarcely doubt, we 
cannot avoid concluding that those 
writings which they unanimously 
rejected must have had very dis 
tinct signs of spuriousness, and 
must have appeared at a compara 
tively late period. 

5 Aristotle mentions repeatedly 
Platonic Statpecreis, Gen. et Corr. ii. 
3, 330, b. 15 ; those who presup 
pose only two original elements, 
represent the rest as a mixture of 
these ; u crai rws 5e /cat oi rpia Xc- 

e/ceZ yap TOVS f^era rCov evuBpu 
ffVfJ.($(ilvt dirjpfjo Oai ro))s 5 eV a\X( 
yevei. The first of these passage 
can refer neither to Philebus, 16 E 
nor to Timams, 27 D, 48 E sq., q 
31 B sq. 53 A sq. ; for neithe 
is the denotation Sicup&rets ap 
propriate to any of these pas 
sages, nor does any one of then 
contain the quotation here fron 
the Stcupe cms. The first four an 
not concerned with the corporea 
elements, the air\a crci/xara, t 
which the remark of Aristotl 
applies (though Ueberwcg, Unters 
Plat, Schrift. disputes this) ; tb 
Timseus 31 B sq. 53 A sq.^cer 
tainly treats of these, but neithe 
of the passages could well be de 
noted by Sicupe cms, and both havi 
four elements instead of the threi 
which Aristotle found in th 
5tcpe(ms, and the two middli 
elements, so far from exhibiting 
a mixture of the two exterior, a 
rather (p. 53 B), according to theii 
stereometric combination, relatec 
to only one of them, and with ii 
stand in contrast to the other. We 
cannot, however, think of a refer- 

/ LATO ti WltlTL\(.lX. 


)isconrses about Philosophy, and about the Good, the 

^ oce to a merely orally delivered 

. Iterance of Plato s (Ueberweg, 

>c. cit., 

48), because in this case, according 

, t> Aristotle s invariable custom, 

istead of the present Trote? a past 

if )nse must stand, and an oral ex- 

osition would without doubt have 

. sceived some further notice. The 

r .aipeaeis here mentioned must 

; aerefore be a composition not in- 

kUded in our collection of Plato s 

,orks, either written by Plato him- 

BJlf, or else an exposition of Pla- 

nic doctrines. .In the second 

.. issage (Part. An.), Aristotle can 

... ily mean a written treatise by 

:. 8tat/>e <rets ; and for 

j ftis we must not think of any of 

,. pe Platonic writings which have 

; torvived to us, because that deno- 

jition for any one of them cr for 

ity paragraph out of one of them 

.iould be very strange ; and the 

^flotation of Aristotle, about the 

flrds being placed partly in the 

Kme class with the aquatic animals, 

j.irtly in another class, is not to be 

^lund in the passages to which one 

Iould most readily turn in this 

,|8e, Soph. 220 A sq. ; Polit. 264 

I; (the former passage is referred to 

|f Hermann, Plat. 594 ; Susemihl, 

c. cit. Pilgcr liber die Athetese d. 

lat. Soph. 0, the latter by Ueber- 

eg, loc. cit. 153 sq.). On the 

ntrary, the 5icu/^<ms here are not 

ferred to Plato, and so far the 

issage in Part. Anim. taken by 

self, would not contradict the snp- 

sition of Suckow (Form cl. 

.at. Schr. 97 sq.) that the yeypafj.- 

va.(. diaipecrfis were neither a 

ritten treatise of Plato s, nor an 

position of Platonic doctrines. 

ockow is entirely mistaken in 

ying that they could not be so 

because Plato is not here named ; 
as we shall find, Aristotle very 
often refers to Plato without 
naming him.) If, however, we 
are quite convinced from the 
passage Do Gen. et Con-, that 
Aristotle actually had in his hands 
an exposition of Platonic Classi 
fications, it is most natural to con 
clude that he is referring to the 
same book in De Part. Anim. It 
cannot however be supposed that 
this proceeded from Plato himself, 
or was at least given out as his 
work, because in that case Aristotle 
would have (Part. Anim. 1, 2) ex 
pressed himself differently, and 
doubtless either this treatise itself 
or some more authentic trace of its 
existence would have been pre 
served than is found in its alleged 
transmission to Dionysius, Ep. 
Plat, xiii. 360 B. The latter 
passage seems rather to refer to the 
diaipeaeis which Alexander apud 
Philoponum in Arist. De Gen. et 
Corr. 50 b., med. mentions among 
the spurious writings in circulation 
at his time under Plato s name, of 
which however Philoponus him 
self knew nothing. The dtaiptveis 
referred to by Aristotle were a, 
collection of classifications of mun 
dane existences, used in the Acad 
emic school and based on Platonic 
enunciations. The existence of 
such a writing is shown by the 
fact that diaipfoeis are attributed 
to Speusippus (Diog. iv. 5), Xeno- 
crates (Ib. 13), and Aristotle 
(Diog. v. 23. Simpl. Categ. Schol. 
in Arist. 47 b. 40 : the Arabian 
ap. Eose, Arist. Fragm. in 5th vol. 
Berl. Acad. Arist. 1471, 52) ; Her- 
modorus ap. Simpl. Phys. 54 b. 
(transcribed in my Diatribe do 
Hermodoro, p. 20, and Susemihl s 



i unwritten doctrines 7 originally never claimed to b( 
the works of Plato at all. 8 There is no ground evenfoi 

Genet. Entw. ii. 522), seems to 
refer to Platonic discourses in 
which such classifications occurred. 
The assumption (Alherti Gcist. und 
Ordn. d. Plat. Schrf. 37, 64), that 
Aristotle was himself the composer 
of the Stcupecms which he refers to, 
is rendered highly improbable by 
the way in which they are cited 
and criticised ; if the Stcup&rei? 
attributed to Aristotle by the later 
writers were the same as those from 
which Diog. iii. 80-109 borrowed 
what he tells ns, with repeated re 
ference to Aristotle, about the Pla 
tonic Classifications, they cannot 
be either (as Suckow thinks loc. 
cit. 96) a work of Aristotle, or 
one used by him, but merely a 
work of the later schools. Just as 
little can we look for the Amipfoeis 
referred to in Aristotle s exposition 
of the Platonic discourses on the 
Good (with Brandis, De perd. 
Arist. libris 12). (On these dis 
courses cf. Part ii. b. 48, 2, 2nd 
edit.) We should sooner look for 
the reference in the dypafia doy- 
/tara (vide p. 382, 2), Phi lop. loc. 
cit. ; Karsten de Plat, cpist. 218 ; 
Schaarschmidt, Samml. d. PJat. 
Schr. 104; still the different de 
notation makes us suppose different 
writings. But however that may 
be, in any case we cannot consider 
the Atcup^(reij referred to by Aris 
totle to be either a Platonic or an 
Aristotelian writing. The Aiaipe- 
ireis which were subsequently cur 
rent under the name of one or the 
other of these two philosophers can 
only be considered as a post-Aristo 
telian interpolation or perhaps u 
recasting of the older work. 

6 Cf. p. 26, 53, 54, and Part ii. b. 

48, 2, 2nd edit. 

7 Phys. iv. 2, 209 b. 13. Aristotle 
says, after he has mentioned th< 
determinations of the Tiaueu; 
about space, &\\ov Se Tpbirov e/ce 
re \eyuv TO /AeraA^Trri/cov /ecu & 
TOIS \eyofJi^voL j dypd(f>oLS Soy/JiQ.o iv 


O.VTO aTre(f)-f)va.To. It is manifes , 
that no Platonic written treatise 
can be intended by these tiypafa 
567/xara; yet on the other hanc : 
this name is not suited for a refer 
ence to an oral discourse as such: 
we can therefore only understand 
by it a collection of notes of sucb 
Platonic views as were still up tc 
that time dypcufra, embodying the 1 
contents of Platonic discourses. 1 
The way, however, in which thei 
allusion is made precludes the 
supposition that Aristotle himself! 
was the author of this collection! 
(as Philop. ib., Schol. in Ar. 371 b; 
25, and Gen. etCorr. 50 b. thinks) ;| 
and though Simplicius (Phys. 12flj 

a. m. 127 a. o. Schol. in Ar. 37| 

b. 3, 372 a. 21) is right in referring 
the &ypa.(j)a doy/A. to &ypa<f)ot, aw 
dai of Plato, still he is har 
justified in understanding by thei 
o-vvovcrieu specially on the Gooc 
Themis t. on the passage (p. 21 
Speng.), states on mere conjectur 
(his own or some one s else) thf 
in the Hyp. 86yp. Plato represenl 
matter as participating in the ide 
not Kara /j.fdeiv, as in the Timast 
but Ko.0 6/j.oiuaiv : Aristotle 
speaking merely of a variation 
the denotation of the participate 
matter itself. 

8 The expressions which Ai 
Top. vi. 2, 140 a. 3, cites 
Platonic occurred not in k 



thinking that any Platonic writing was ever more com- 
u iplete tli an it is now. 9 

Fortune has indeed bestowed less care on the purity 
rt jpf the Platonic collection. Even the learned among 
i the Greeks regarded as spurious several of the writings 
Jthat bore Plato s name ; lu the critics of our own century, 

writings. Imt in oral discourses ; 
(whatever in Timaeus Platonic 
^Lexicon is alien to Plato s works 
.as we have them, comes generally 
[not from Plato, but from another 
[writer ; vide Hermann, Plato, 556. 
As regards the remarkable state 
ment of an obscure myth-writer of 
the middle ages (in A "Mai s Auct. 
( Class. 183) who appeals to an 
alleged Philosophus of Plato in 
support of a very un-Platonic view 
of the origin of the belief in Gods, 
cf. Schaarschmidt, Samml. d. plat 
Schr. 89. 

For, from Menander, TT. 
inoeiKT. p. 143 W. 337 Sp. (6 yovv 
nXctTWJ 1 fj.vov TOV iravTos rbv TifUUtf 
ca\fi fi> T(2 KPITIQ) we cannot con 
clude that this rhetorician had the 
ritias in a more complete form 
than we have. Had this been so, 
Jtill further traces of it would have 
jeen preserved ; whereas we see 
from Pint. Solon, 32, that in Plu- 
" arch s time only the introduction 
ind the beginning of the narra- 
ive remained ; his words seem 
ather to be merely an inexact ex- 
>ression, meaning that the sub- 
cct of the Timaeus was treated in 
he beginning of the Critias as a 
hymn of praise to the Cosmos, 
oecause Timaeus here prays to the 
jfod, whose origin he has described, 
hat, in case he has uttered any- 
hing irapa /xAos, God would TOV 

10 All the lost dialogues (vide 
p. 46, 3) and those of the exist 
ing number marked in the editions 
as Dialogi nothi, except the Clito- 
phoii (vide Hermann, pp. 424, 594, 
225, et cet.). Even in ancient 
times the Epinomis (Diog. iii. 37, 
Suid. 0tXc<ro0os. Prolegg. in Plat, 
c. 25, following Proclus) was by 
many ascribed to Philippus of Opus, 
the second Alcibiades (Athen. xi. 
506 c.), to Xenophon (this cannot 
possibly be right), and the Ante- 
rastaa and Hipparchus were con 
sidered doubtful (Thrasylus, ap. 
Diog. ix. 37, and ^El. V. H. viii. 2 
respectively). On the contrary, it 
is scarcely credible that Panaetius 
actually condemned the Pha?do as 
spurious, in order to deprive the- 
belief in immortality of the autho 
rity of Plato ^Asclepius, Schol. in 
Ar. 576 a. 39. Anthol. Graac. ix. 
358 ; according to David, Schol. in 
Ar. 30 b. 8 Syrian, as our text 
stands, the latter Epigram was 
written on the Phaedrus, for which, 
however, the Phaedo is obviously 
to be read); this statement seems 
to have originated in a misunder 
standing of the tradition of Pa 
naetius doubts as to the genuineness 
of the Phredo, and of his opposition 
to the Platonic doctrine of immor 
tality (Cic. Tusc. i. 32, 79). Had 
he declared the Phaedo spurious on 
the grounds stated, he would have 
spared himself this opposition. 


sometimes unanimously, sometimes by an overwhelming 
majority, have rejected a still greater number; others I 
are yet upon their trial, and among these, as formerly 
happened on the first appearance of Ast 11 and Socher, 1 
is to be found more than one work the repudiation o 
which would considerably affect our apprehension o: 
the Platonic philosophy. Though an exhaustive inves 
tigation of this subject would exceed the limits of the 
present treatise, we must to a certain extent examine 
it, and notice the points of view on which our judg 
ment of it depends. With regard then first to the!: 
external evidence, from the consideration of which every 
such enquiry must start, by far the most important is:; 
that of Aristotle. For setting this aside, very few re 
marks of ancient authors concerning the works of Plato 
have been handed down to us, 13 either from his own 01 * 

11 Platou s Leben und Schriften, regards the v6pot), and Polit. 1, 6 

1810. 1255 a. 7, Arist. speaks of TroXXol 

Ueber Platen s Schriften, 1820. T&V tv rols vo/mois, who dispute the 

13 Isocratcs certainly seems to right of enslaving captives made 

mean Plato s political writings by in war. Still less can we, with! 

bis mention (Philippic 13, written Suckow (Form. d. plat. Schr. lol] 

340 B.C.) of v6fj.ois Kdl TroAtra cus sq.) infer from the plural 0-o0tcrrwi/, |i 

TwtrbTWffwpurTwpyc ypawdvait. that Isocrates attributed the Rej 

Still this reference, if the passage public and the Laws to different!! 

be taken by itself, cannot prove authors; cf. Uebenvcg, Plat. SchrJj: 

that Plato was the only one or 184 sq. From the statement oil 

the first who had written on the Tbeopompus, quoted p. 38, 941 j 

formation of the state and on we cannot gather what Platonic* i 

laws; we know of several similar writings he had before him. Odl 

works, besides those of Plato, in the contrary, it appears from Plutj 

the period before Isocrates ; the An. Procr. 3, 1 : Alex, on Metaph 

lIoXiTeia of Protagoras, the work of 1091 a. 27 ; cf. Arist. De Coelo, 1 

Antisthenes IT. VQIJ.OV ?} TT. TroXtrems 10, 279 b. 32 ; and other author! 

(Diog. vi. 16), those of Phaleas and ties to be mentioned later on, thai 

Hippodamus (Arist. Polit, ii. 7, 8, Xenocrates noticed the Timseus 

who also 1267 b. 37, 1268 a. 6, in according to Suid. Ecvoicp. h< 

reference to the latter of the two, also wrote irepl rrjs TlXdruvoi 

expressiy mentions his proposals as TroXtrems ; Diog. iv. 82, how- 



111 e succeeding century ; and these relate almost entirely 
writings which Aristotle, too, distinctly ascribes to 
lato. Towards the end of the third century, Aristo 
hanes of Byzantium first arranged a portion of the 
rorks in those five Trilogies which we know from 
)iog. iii. 61 : 14 and fully two centuries later, Thrasylus 
lade a catalogue of them in nine Tetralogies, 15 which 
italogue, with a few very unimportant exceptions, 
jntains all the writings transmitted *to us as Platonic. 16 
rrote 17 thinks we may place entire confidence, not only 
the statements of Aristophanes, but even in the cata 
logue of Thrasylus. It cannot be supposed, he argues, 
bhat the school of Athens, which was continued in an 

er, mentions only a treatise IT. 
retes. Theophrastus refers to 
i Timteus (Fragm. 28, 34-49 
fimm ;) to the Laws (xi. 915 D). 
ee Fr. 97, 5 (Stobseus, Florilegium 
t, 2-2, end). Kuderaus, Eth. Eud. 
n\. 14, 1247, b. 15, must refer to 
;thc Euthydemus (279 D sq., 281 
), inasmuch as what is here 
quoted as Socratic is to be found 
there and there only ; Eth. Eud. 
vii. 1;}, 124G, b. 34, seems to 
refer to the Protagoras, 352, B, 
C; and Eth. Eud. iii. 1, 1229, a. 
15, to Protas:. 360 D ; Eth. Eud. 
rii. 5, 6, 1239, b. 13, 1240, b. 17, 
teems to be connected with the 
Jysis, 214 C sq., for here the 
Sudemian text comes nearer the 
?latouic dialogue than the par- 
-llel passage of the Nicomachean 
Cthics, ix. 10, 1159, b. 7. Aris- 
le (vide sup. 38, 94) speaks of 
i Platonic Ilepublic ; Dicwarchns 
e Plioedrus (ap. Diog. iii. 38) ; 
n of the Timseus (vide p. 20, 
J38); the first commentary on the 

latter dialogue was written by 
Grantor (supra, p. 696 d. 2nd edit.) ; 
the Stoic Persaeus wrote against 
Plato s Laws, 200-250 B.C. (Diog. 
vii. 36). 

14 The first included the Repub 
lic, Timaetis, Critias ; the second the 
Sophist, Politicus, Cratylus ; the 
third the Laws, Minos, Epinomis ; 
the fourth the Thesetetus, Euthy- 
phro, Apology ; the fifth the Crito, 
Phffido, the Letters ; ra 5 d\\a 
KO.Q v KO.I drd/crwy. Suckow 
Form. d. plat. Schr. 163, I think 
wrongly, denies that this division 
into trilogies really belongs to 

* Ap. Diog. iii. 56 sq. 

1(5 Besides the dialogues men 
tioned p. 46, 5, there are wanting 
in it only the two small dialogues 
TT. SiKaiov and TT. dper^y, the Defini 
tions, and the Letters nos. 14-19, 
first_ admitted by Hermann in his 

17 Plato and the other Com 
panions of Socrates, 1, 132 sq. 



unbroken line from its commencement, should not 
have been, completely and accurately informed of all 
that its founder had written. On the contrary, there 
can be no doubt that his very handwriting was care 
fully preserved there ; and the members of the Academy 
were thus in a position to furnish the most trustworthy 
information to anyone who sought it, concerning the 
authenticity or the text of a Platonic work. Such an. 
opportunity would- surely not have been neglected by 
Demetrius Phalereus and his successors at the founding 
of the Alexandrian Library. They would either have 
procured copies of the original manuscripts of Plato, or 
have instituted enquiries in Athens as to the authenti 
city of the works which they received into their collec* 
tion, causing a catalogue to be made of all the un 
doubted writings ; and since Aristophanes certainly 
and Thrasylus probably, followed in their catalogues 
the Alexandrian tradition, the statements of these writers 
may be fairly supposed entitled to a high degree of 
credit. This theory, however, rests wholly upon a series 
of uncertain presuppositions. It may be that the ori 
ginal manuscripts of Plato, or copies of his works used 
by himself, were preserved in the Academy, though 
not a particle of historical evidence on the subject 
exists ; but even supposing such to have been the case, 
who can guarantee that not only Plato s personal dis 
ciples, but their successors, were so convinced of the 
completeness of their collection, and so jealously watch 
ful over its purity, as to deny admittance to every 
book not included in it, and represented to them as 
Platonic ? Not to mention that there are many con- 


eivable cases in which the manuscript collection in 

Dossession of the school might have to be completed 

jy genuine Platonic works. 18 And granted that the 

lr Icademy had indeed never admitted any spurious writ- 

, LV ug into their library, how can we be sure that the 

r i Alexandrian librarians were equally scrupulous ? They 

ti prtainly might, on the above presupposition, have in- 

. .formed themselves in Athens as to the works which 

I fcrere there acknowledged to be authentic, but how can 

jj. fore know that they actually did this ? There is not the 

Slightest warrant for the assertion; but on the other 

band we are told that the high prices paid for writings 

lin Alexandria and Pergamus gave great encouragement 

*> forgery, 19 and that in particular many works were 

18 If we suppose that letters of ytypcnrro ffvyypa^a, XapBdvetv V 

flato really existed, there is no aatau.tvMv i,,at>,, ,.,?. _Z..*t 

aecessity that copies of them 

should be found in his literary 
remains ; supposing that the libra 
ries of Speusippus and Xenocrates 
met with any accident, as might 
easily have happened during the 
truggles of the Diadochi for the 
possession of Athens, or that some 
af their parts were lost, nothing 
would have remained but to supply 
hem from without. However, 
tve cannot take into account these 
jossibilities, as has been said: it 
sufficient that we know nothing 
to how Plato s writings were 
preserved in his school, or what 
precautions were taken to main- 
ain the collection in its integrity. 

19 Galen in Hippocr. de nat. 
lorn. 1, 42, xv. 105, K: irplv yap 
roi/s en A\%av5peia re Kal Uepydfji.^ 

vtvirrfin, ^ a( j - L \^ ^J KT" " ^ 

oi SeVw 


avTols a-vyypa/nfjLO. TraXcuou TWOS 

/jLifrv. (Similarly 
SimpL in Categ. 2 e. Schol. in Ar. 
28, a. infra.) Galen obviously 
goes too far here in supposing that 
before the establishment of these 
two great libraries there had been 
no forging of books ; and still less 
can we agree with the conclusion 
of Grote (loc. cit. 155), that as the 
rivalry of these two libraries first 
gave occasion for such forgeries, 
and the library of 1 ergamus was 
not founded till 230 B.C., we are 
not to suppose any forgeries before 
this time. Of this supposed rivalry 
Galen says nothing ; <pi\oTi/j.ei<rdai 
means simply to seek after reputa 
tion or glory in anything, to dis 
play zeal ; Simplicius uses the 
word VTrovdafctv for it. 


falsely attributed to Aristotle, in order that they might 
be bought by Ptolemy Philadelphia. 20 When we fur 
ther consider] the state of literary criticism in the post 
Aristotelian period, it seems unreasonable to credit the 
Alexandrians with having tested the authenticity 
of works bearing illustrious names, so carefully and 
accurately as Grote presupposes. The catalogues of 
Aristophanes and Thrasylus therefore merely prove 
that the writings they include were held to be Platonic 
at the time of these grammarians ; whether they really 
were so or not, can only be determined by a particular 
enquiry into each work, according to the general rules 
of criticism. 

The statements of Aristotle afford a much safer 
criterion ; 21 but even with regard to these, the case is 
by no means so simple as might be supposed. In the 
first place, it is sometimes doubtful whether the writing 
or the passage which refers to a saying of Plato s in 
truth emanates from Aristotle ; and this doubt has 
already destroyed or weakened the argumentative force 
of some quotations. 22 But even though the Aristotelian 

- Cf. Tart ii. b. 87, G, 2nd logue of them. To this reference 

edit. is to be made in case of dialogues, 

~ l A collection of all the re- the citations from which in what 

ferences in Aristotle to Plato s follows are not discussed in detail, 
writings was attempted by Trend- - 2 As the citation of the Laws 

lenburg, Plat, de id. et num. doctr. (iv. 715, E sq.) at the end of the 

13 sq. ; then in my Platon. Stud, spurious work TT. Ac6<r/uou, p. 401 ;j 

201 sq. Next Suckow (Form. d. of the Timaeus (77 B), IT. <pvru>v, 

plat. Schr. 40 sq.), Ueberweg 1, 815 a. 21 ; of the Kuthydemus 

(Unters. plat. Schr. 131 sq.), and (279 D sq.}, in the Eudemian 

Schaarschmidt (Samml. d. plat. Ethics (vide p. 50. 13). The cita- 

Schr. 90 sq.) thoroughly examined tion of the Sophist also (254 A) in 

these evidences. Still, Bonitz, in the xi. Bk. of the Metaphysics 

his Index Aristotelicus, 598 sq., c. 8, 1004, b. 29, might also be 

gives the most exhaustive cata- claimed, because not merely is the 

PLATO 8 Will 77 A7/-S . 


is authorship of a passage apparently relating to Platonic 
ii> writings be fully established, the reference is not 

second part of this book decidedly 
spurious, but the genuineness of 
the first is anything but firmly 
established (c. 1-8, 1065, a. 26). 
Still, after repeated examination, 
I think it is more probably aa 
earlier abstract, perhaps a rough 
sketch noted down by Aristotle for 
the purposes of his lectures, rather 
than a later epitome of Bks. iii. 
iv. vi. The quotation of the 
Apology and of the Menexenus, in 
the 3rd Bk. of the Rhetoric, gives 
almost more ground for doubt. 
For though the contents of this 
book, as a whole, seem sufficiently 
Aristotelian in character, still the 
question arises whether, in the 
form in which we have it, it con 
stituted an original part of Aris 
totle s Rhetoric, or whether it was 
not added by a later writer to the 
first books, perhaps based on notes 
or a lecture of Aristotle s. In 
support of the latter supposition, 
besides other points, might be 
quoted the fact, that, according to 
Rhetor. 1, 1, especially p. 1054, 
b. 16 sq , it seems doubtful whether 
Aristotle would, on the whole, have 
treated in his Rhetoric the sub 
jects discussed in the 3rd Bk. ; 
and again, the 3rd Bk. c. 17, re 
turns to the question of the trlareis, 
which the first two books had 
already thoroughly entered into. 
Especially might we be inclined 
to suspect a different hand in 
many of the examples which are 
accumulated in the 3rd Book 
and worked out with propor 
tionate detail ; and in reference 
to this, it is worth noticing that 
quotations, which have already 
occurred in the first and second 

books repeatedly appear in the 
Ihird book in a more complete 
form. In i. 9, 1367, b. 8, a saying 
of the historical Socrates is briefly 
mentioned (ticrirep yap 6 Zwicp. 
ZXeycv, ou x a ^- ir 1 AftywoJowi tv 
A0Tjvaioi3 eiraive ij ;) in Bk. iii. 14, 
1415, b. 30, this is more fully 
quoted from the Menexenus (235 
1), 236 A) : 6 yap \tyei SWK/>. iv T$ 
eiuTatpiq) aXydts, tin ov x a ^ eirov 
AOrjvaiovs & AdyvaLois eiraiveiv, 
dXX i> Aatfedaifjioviois. Whereas, 
ii. 23, 1398, a. 15, as an example 
of a proof, e optoyxoO, the following 
is quoted: olov on. TO oa^bviov 
oiiotv effTiv a\\ T) 6ebs rj Geov tpyov, 
in iii. 18, 1419, a. 8, we find a 
quotation of four lines from the 
Platonic Apology, 27 B-D. The 
quotation from Theodectes, ii. 23, 
1399, b. 28, occurs again, III. 15, 
and is treated of at greater length ; 
from 1416, b. 1-3, we learn the 
particulars about a passage of 
the Teucer of Sophocles, which 
in 1398, a. 4, was briefly al 
luded to. Again, it is remarkable 
that, iii. 14, the Menexenus is 
denoted by 6 cTrrrci^ios (without 
any specification), while by the 
like expression, 111, 10, 14, 11, 
a. 1, the Epitaphios of Lysias 
is meant. These circumstances 
certainly give some grounds 
for doubting whether the fuller 
quotations of the Apology and 
Menexenus in the 3rd Bk. of the 
Rhetoric proceed from Aristotle 
himself. On the other hand, I 
cannot agree with Schaarschmidt 
^Saninil. "d. plat. Schrf. 383), who 
remarks from the passages in 
Metaph. v. 29, 1025, a. 6, relative 
to the Lesser Hippias, that it is 


always of a kind that implies an unequivocal recogni 
tion of the writings. If not merely the name of the) 
writing is given, but also that of the author ; if Aristotle 
says, Plato remarks in the Timeeus, Republic, 23 &c., 
there can of course be no hesitation as to his meaning. 
But not unfrequently the writing in which some passage 
is to be found is named without mention of its author ; 
or conversely, utterances and opinions are ascribed to 
Plato, and nothing is stated concerning the writings in 
which they occur ; or lastly, reference is made to theo 
ries and expressions contained in our Platonic collec 
tion, and yet there is no allusion either to Plato as their 
author, or to a particular writing as their source. 24 It 
also happens sometimes that a passage from some dia 
logue is quoted with an express mention of the dialogue, 
and yet is attributed to Socrates, and not to Plato. 25 
In all these cases, the question arises whether or not 
we can claim Aristotelian evidence for the Platonic 
origin of the writings concerned; but a portion of 
them only need occasion us any serious doubt. If 
Aristotle, in naming a dialogue, remarks. Socrates 

more than improbable that Aris- recasting. 

totle himself _ published the book - a The quotations to which Bonitz 

quoted, especially in the form we in his Index has prefixed a. 

have it. Undoubtedly the (5th Bk. - 4 The three cases denoted by 

of the Metaphysics is proved to bo Bonitz b. c. d. 

genuine by Aristotle himself (cf. - 5 E.g. (len. etCorr. 11,9,335, 

Part ii. b. 58, 2nd edit., and Arist. b. 9 : ol fj.ev LKavrjv iri0r)<ra.i> alriav 

Gen. et Corr. 11, 10, 336, b. 29, cf. dvai wpbs TO yej>e<rdai r^v r&v duv 

Metaph. y. 7) possibly not as a </>iW, ticnrep 6ef<ai5wnSw/c/>aT?7s. 

part of this work, but at any rate Bonitz ranges these cases in the 

as an independent Aristotelian first class, distinguished, however, 

treatise and there is no reason from those in which Plato is men- 

at all to suppose that we have it tioned by the addition of a 

merely in the form of a later 


icre maintains this or that, he always means by it that 
IK ^lato in this dialogue has put the remark into the 
^ nouth of Socrates. For not only does he employ the 
;ame mode of expression as to writings which he else- 
i vhere most emphatically attributes to Plato, 26 but he 

lever quotes an opinion or a saying of Socrates from 
f; my writing that is not in our Platonic collection ; 
t( though he must certainly have been acquainted with 
ii :he Socratic dialogues of Xenophon, ^Eschines, and 
) Antisthenes. 27 Indeed the Socratic utterances are re- 

yarded by him as so completely identical with Plato s 
works, that he even designates the Laws as Socratic, 28 
although Socrates never appears in them, and is pro- 

bably not intended by the Athenian stranger ; and he 
quotes views which were entirely originated by Plato 
and put in the mouth of his master, simply as the 
views of Socrates, 29 without any discrimination of the 

26 As in the criticism of the he may have borrowed from Xeno- 
Platonic Republic, Polit. ii. 1, c. 0, phon or some other source of tra- 
1065, b. 1 ; Ibid. iv. 4, 1291, a. dition ; but he never quotes in 
11 (<f>T](rl yap 6 ^uKpdrrjs). viii. the present tense (2w*p. 0^0-2, &c.) 
7, 1342, a. 33, b. 23, v. 12, and from a writing mentioned by 
lolt i, a. 1 sqq. (ei> Se rf/ TroXire/^ name, anything Socratic which is 
A^-yercu .... virb rov 2w/cpd- not to be found in our Platonic 
TOVS, and the like) : Gen. et (, orr. dialogues. In the historic tense 
11, 9, vide previous note. Sinri- there is only one undoubted refer- 
larly Polit. 11, 4, 1262, b. 11, ence to the Memorabilia of Xe- 
after it has been mentioned that nophon, (Mem. i. 2, 54) in Ku- 
Socrates (i.e. the Platonic Socrates demus (Kth. Eud. vii. 1. 1235, a. 

I in the Republic) wished the State 37). 
to have the greatest possible unity, - 8 Polit. ii. 0, 1265, a. 10 fwith 

j come the words, Kadairep ev rots reference to the Laws) : TO ovv 

eptoTiKOis fa fj.ev \tyovr a TOV Apiaro- TrepiTT&v %x oV(rL Trcti res 01 rov 

<j>dvt]i>, where Plato s Symposium is SuKparovs \6yoi K.T.\. In the 

meant. preceding passage, too, the gram- 

27 Arist. relates in the historic matical subject to ctp-rjKev &c. is 
tense (2wKy>. yero, ef^rci, &c.) ^WK/JCITT;?. 

many things about Socrates which - 19 ( 1 f. Polit. ii. 3, 1261, b. 19, 



Platonic from the historic Socrates. If, therefore, t 
dialogue in our collection is thus treated by Aristotle 
we may be certain that he considers it a work of Plato. 3 * 
The same holds good as to dialogues which are cited 
without the name either of Socrates or Plato. 31 This 
kind of quotation only presupposes that the writing in 
question is known to the reader, and will not be mis 
taken for anything else ; we therefore find it employed 

21 : TOVTO yap oiercu 6 2uKp. . . . 
j3ov\Tat iroielv 6 2toKy>. c. 4. 1262, 
b. 6: Si TJV alriaf 6 Zco/cy). OUTWS 
otercu 6eiv rdrretj , c. 5. 1263 b. 
29 : O.ILTLOV 5 T$ HuKparei T^S 
7rapa.Kpov(reu$ xprj vopifriv TTJS VTTO- 
6effiv OVK ovaav 6p6rji>. Polit. viii. 
7. 1342, b. 23: Sto /caXtDs fTTLTi/muai 
/cat TOVTO 2wfcpaTei (i.e., the Socr. 
of tlie Republic) r&v irepi ryv p\ov- 

ffLKTiV TlVfS Af.T.X. 

M IJebcrweg in contending that 
the Menexenus in Pihet. iii. 14. 
1415, b. , JO is not quoted as Pla 
tonic, has paid too little attention 
to the true state of the case. If 
this citation is really Aristotle s 
(on this cf. p. 54, 22), we can 
only conclude that in conformity 
with his invariable custom he 
wished here to denote the Men 
exenus as Platonic, just as much 
as in the cases of the Republic, 
the Phaedo, and the Symposium 
quoted at page 57, 2(3. 

:!1 As the Timaeus, Do coclo iii. 
2. 300, b. 17 : KaOcnrfp iv r<p Tt^ucuy 
ytypairTai. Do Anima i. 3, 40(5, b. 
20: rbv avrbv 5 Tpbirov (as Demo- 
critus) KOI 6 TifiaLos QvaioXo-yti, 
and frequently (see lk>nitz s In 
dex) ; the Phaedo, Met enrol, ii. 2, 
355, b. 32: rb 5 ev T$ $a.i8wi>i 
yeypa/Afjifroi . . . a.\jva.Tov e crrt (I 
must retract the donbts of my 

Platen. Stud. 207, as regards the 
authenticity of this passage) ; the 
Phsedrus, Hhet. iii. 7, 1408, b. 20: 
OTrep Topyias eVot ei KO.I rd iv T< 
<J>aiS/)<jj ; the Meno, Anal. post. 71, 
a. 29 : ci 5 MTJ, TO eV T< MeVo?i/t 
d-jropTj/ma cri>yu./3?7creTcu. Anal, prior, 
ii. 21, 67, a. 21 : 6/iot ws de Kal 6 

dvd/j.vrjais ; the Gorgias, Soph. 
Elench. 12, 173, a. 7: wajrep Kal o 
KaXXi/fX^s fv T( Vopyia yeypa-jrTai 
\eyuv: the Lesser Ilippias, Mctaph. 
v. 29, 1025, a. 6 : Sto 6 ei> r<p 
ITTTT^ Xo7os TrapaKpoverai, &c. 
Schaarschmidt (Samml. d. plat. 
Schr. 383) says indeed of the latter 

3 notation : The writer of the 
ialogue is here spoken of in a 
tone of depreciation which we can 
hardly imagine Aristotle employing 
with regard to Plato. However, 
for the estimation of this assertion 
it is sufficient to refer to the pas 
sages quoted in note 29 from Polit. 
ii. 5 ; viii. 7. In addition to this, 
Schaarschmidt himself remarks on 
the same page, the condemnatory 
judgment of Aristotle on the dia 
logue before us, taken by itself, 
does not prove that he considered 
Plato to be the author. For a 
further objection to this assertion, 
vide p. 54, 22. 

PLATO K II7///7AV/X. ;V.i 

about other works that are universally famous f 2 but 
oil- among the philosophic writings which Aristotle men- 
t; lions in this way, there is none which does not belong 
;:- to our Platonic collection : the Platonic writings, as 
ft before remarked, are the only writings of the Socratic 
?! school to which he ever refers. This circumstance 
IK makes it extremely probable that Aristotle really in- 
r r tends to ascribe all the writings quoted by him in this 
form to Plato, otherwise we should certainly have had 
: a right to expect that those which he considered spu 
rious, especially if in their style and treatment they 
might claim to be Platonic, would not have been intro 
duced without some hint as to the true state of the 
case. For he could not presuppose this to be neces 
sarily known to his readers. 33 

As to those passages which attribute to Plato or 
Socrates theories and sayings to be met with in the 
. Platonic writings, but which do not mention the writ 
ings, Aristotle himself very often furnishes us with 
a proof that he is really referring to these by his use 
of the present tense : : Plato maintains, Socrates 
.says, and the like. 34 When he employs this form 

:i - E.g. the Iliad and Odyssee, and out the author s name. 

many passages of Sophocles and . :i:! Schaarschmidt (plat. Schr. 

Euripides; cf. Index Aristotelians 342, 383) is therefore wrong, in 

under IXids, O8v<rafia, 2o^o/cX^s, my opinion, in denying that the 

Ei)pi7rt 577?. Even the funeral ova- jVIeno and the Lesser Hippias were 

tion of Lysias ( GO) is qr.oted attributed to Plato by Aristotle. 

BheUii. 10, 1411, a. 31 (on which, :<4 As Metaph. xii. G; 1071, b. 

however, cf. p. 54, 22) merely with 32 (Aevxiinros /ecu IIXdroH ) delelvai 

the words: olov tv r$ eVira^i ^, </>a<n Klvyaiv (which ace. to DC 

and the Meo-o-^taK^s of Alcidamas, Ccelo iii. 2, 300, b. 1G, comes from 

which had been already cited, the Timiens, 30, A.). Ibid. .">?, 

Bhot. i. 13, 1373, b. 18, is referred d\Xd fj.rjv ov5t UXdrwn 76 olbv re 

to, II. 23, 1397, a. 11 equally wiUi-, Ayeu ^ oferat m ore (Phadr. 245, 


of expression, it is a sure indication that lie lias in 
liis mind those Socratic or Platonic discourses which 
are laid down in writings ; 35 and when we find these 
very discourses in a work that tradition assures us 
to be Platonic, it is hardly possible to doubt that 
this is the work to which the quotation relates. An 
appeal of this kind to Socratic or Platonic utterances, 
therefore, if these conditions fully obtain, has no less 
force than the literal mention of the particular writing, 
and the express acknowledgment of its Platonic origin.. ! 
On the other hand, however, we must not conclude that 
Aristotle, whenever he makes use of the preterite in 
mentioning a doctrine of Socrates or Plato, refers only 
indirectly or not at all, 36 to the writings that contain it. 
Several cases are here to be distinguished. In the first 
place, the perfect tense may properly be employed, 
and is very commonly employed by Aristotle, in quot 
ing the sayings of Plato, or of the Platonic Socrates, 
from a writing. 37 It is somewhat different with the 

( 1 "I- ^ s , x ; 89 A 5 > E sq.) d/>xV M As a rule, whore the writings 
e^cu, TO a^ro eavrb KLVOVV. varepov are named, the reference is made 
yap Kai a/*a ry otpavy ij ^^ fa j n the present tense : cf. the quo- 


. - 

l *- tatlons intho Indcx Ari t. denoted 

viii. 1, 251, b. 17 : nXdrwi/ 8 avrbv by a. 

[rto xtfwyav rfros- &a .I V 3As Ueberweg believes Plat 

Schr. 140 sq. Cf. on the other 

- . 

n\arw opifrrai 0opAv r^v /card :f E.g. Polit, ii. 5, 1264 a. 12 - 

r^ OVKiV ^ LV (TheaBt.181, C; the oW e f pw v 6 Sw^s (in the 

same statement occurs also Farm. Platonic Republic). Ibid b 24 

138, fi sq.). Eth x. 2, 1172, b. i, TO Xirefc vepl 


: l T roo V l! " a \ nxdTUV c - G > 1264 > b - 28, 36 : e 
hileb 22, A 60, C sq.) dvatpel repldXIyw^d^S^puuKp. 
tori OVK f ar lV r)8o^ r^Qbv. . . . repl Totfrw ^/ 5tt6 6 

]\ T 1UT1X<} tu 

narrative forms the im perfect and aorist. These are 
only used in respect to Socrates when some theory is 
to be ascribed to the historic Socrates, supposing it to 
have become known to Aristotle through certain writ 
ings. 38 For it might very well be said of the Platonic 
Socrates that he maintains something (in the present), 
or that something is in question as said by him (in the 
perfect), but not that he formerly has said something, 
because as this ideal person he exists for the reader of 
the Platonic writings, and for him only, in the present ; 
he has no existence independently of the reader and 
belonging to the past. If, however, Plato himself is 
mentioned as having said or thought something, this 
consideration has no longer any force. His utterances 

l-i it i, a. 1 : v 8e TO?S vo/iots eipTiTcu 
robots, c. 9. 1271, a. 41 : TT? 
virodeffei TOV vop.o6Tov iriTi[j,r]<Tiev 
&v -m, 6-rrep Kal nXdrwc ev rots 

V6[J.OLS TTTTl[jl.r)Kei>. Top. \\. 3, 

140, b. 3 : Kddairep HXcirw^ uyno-rcu. 
Sopji. Elench. 12, 173, a. 8 : 6 KaX- 
x ")s iv TI Yopyia ylypaiTTat. 
v. IMiys. iv. 2, 210, a. 1 : 
p iv rep Ti/Aaly yeypafav. 
Likewise (^en. et ( 1 orr. 1, 8, 325, 
b. 2 } : wcrTre/) iv TOJ TifAaiyyeypafpe 
nXdrwi/, and frequently. 

58 E.g. Eth. N. vii. 3, 1145, b. 23 

jJ-tv yap 6 Xws ^/xd^ero Trpds TOV 
\byov K.T.\. ( I . Protag. 352, B sq. 
Polit. i. 13, 12;o, a. 21 : the virtue 
of the man and of the woman is 
not the same, Kadairep y ero 2wKp. 
< T. Mono 73, A sq. So, too, Eth. 
N. iii. 11, 1116, b. 3 the quotation 
from Socrates, which occurs in 
ftotag. 349 E sq. 3GO, C sq. is 
denoted by the past tense ^ 77^77 
(in the parallel passage in Eth. 

Eud. iii. 1, 1229, a. 15 by 
Bhet. iii. 18, 1419, a. 8 sq. the 
conversation between Socrates and 
Meletus, which Plato narrates 
Appl. 27, B sq., is denoted as his 
torical by the past tenses f iprjKev, 
fjpero, 0?7, &e., and llhet. ii. 9, 
13(57, b. 8 the saying that it is easy 
enough to panegyrize the Athen 
ians in Athens , is attributed to 
the historical Socrates by the in 
troductory formula ticrirfp yap 6 
ZwKpdr-rjs ZXeyev ; Rhet. iii. 14, 
1415, b. 30, where the same ex 
pression is quoted from the Men- 
exenus, the words are quite in 
conformity with Aristotle s custom : 
6 yap \tyei Sw/cp. tv T< eVira^t w. 
On the other hand, in (.-Jen. et 
< OIT. ii. 9, 335, b. 9 (oi IKO.V^V 
alrLav dvai Trpos TO 76^ - 
rrjv T&V eidwv (fiuaiv, wcrirep ev 
/c-pciTT/s) we must supply 
the present oi ercu as the finite verb 
to w<rirep } K.T.\. 


are not merely sayings which are present to us in his 
works, but also acts which he completed in the com* 
pilation of those works ; in that case, therefore, a his 
toric tense, as well as a present, might be used in 
quoting them. Though this does not occur very fre 
quently, it is sometimes to be met with, 39 and we have 
consequently no right to conclude from the use of the 
preterite in the quotation of a Platonic saying, that il 
is not derived from any written work. 40 

But there are also many passages in Aristotle 
where neither Plato nor any one of his dialogues is 
mentioned, but which have internal evidence to shov 
that Aristotle in writing them had definitely in vie 
particular works of Plato, and which very often allud 
to these 41 unmistakably, though indirectly. The argu 

^ !9 Etli. X.J. 2, 1095, a. 32 (cC Sr^aj/MirWifF wtfiTrrwj elre Sr/sar- 

yap Kal Tl\druv -rj-jropft TOVTO Kal TIS. 

tfijret) need not be brought in 40 As Ueberweg, Plat. Sclir. 1 ;">."> 

here, because in (his case (besides sq. in remarking on Metapli. vi. 2, 

Kepublic vi. 511, B) the refer- 1026, b. 14 and xi. 8, 1064, b. 29 

ence seems rather to oral utter- (vide p. 399, 2) the past tenses 

ances. But the use of the past here used, Zra&v and ctpyKc 07?<ray, 

tense above remarked occurs de- (which latter, except as a perfect, 

cidedly Gen. et Corr. ii. 5, 332, a. cannot be brought under consider- 

29 : utrirep Iv r<$ Ti^cu y HXdruv ation here, in accordance with the 

typafev. Phys. iv. 2, 209, b. 15 above remarks) refer to oral utter- 

(Plato, in Timaeus 52, A sq.) rbv ances. 

roirov Kal TTJV xupavT6avTbdTT<pri- 41 The for mulre which Aristotle 

VOLTO. Polit. ii. 7, 12(56, b. 5 : makes use of here are all pretty 

IlXdruv 8 TOVS vb/jiovs ypd<pui> . . . much to the same effect, Phys. iv. 

V ero. Also Gen. et Corr. i. 2, 7, 214, a. 13: 0a<ri ru/es etrat rb 

315, a. 29, the words : IlXdrwv Kevbv rrjv TOU o-c6/iaroj vXyv (Tim. 
oftv /j.6t>}i> Trepi yevfocws ecr/c^aro 52, A sq.) ; De An. ii. 2, 413, b. 
K.T.A. refer to the Timrcus, as we 27 : TO. 5e AotTrd ^6/ata TT)S ^I X^J . . 
see from what follows (315, b. 30 ; owe <TTL ^wptord, Kadairep TLV& 

316, a. 2 sq.). A similar expres- 0aoWTim. 69 c. though here the 
sion is used DC scnsu c. 5, 443, b. reference to a definite passage is 
30, in^ referring to a verse from the questionable) ; Pol. vii. 7, 1327, b. 
Phccnissre of Strattis, d\-rjOes ydp ^8 : Sirep yap <pa<ri rives deiv virap- 


mentative value of these passages can only be deter 
mined in each case by an appeal to the ordinary rules 
of criticism. The more perfect is the coincidence 

Xetv rois (pv\a^i K.T.\. (Rep. ii. 
375 A sq.) ; Pol. vii. 10, 1329 b. 
41 : of re Kolvrjv <j>a[jiev elvai Seiv 
TT}v KTT)<riv, &(nrep rives eiprjKaviv 
(Rep. iii. 410 D) ; De An. 1, 5, 411, 
b. ;>: \eyovffi drj rives /aepiar^v 
avTT)v (rrjv ^vxri"), &c. (Rep. iv. 
430 sq.) ; Tart. Aniiu. 11, G begin, 
fffri 8e 6 fj-veXos . . . OVK &<nrep 
otovrai rives rrjs yovrjs o-irepfjLariKrj (Tim. 86 C?); De Coelo, 
iii. 1, 298 b. 33 ; d<rl 8e rives, ol 
Kal TTO.V 0-w/tci yevijToit TTOIOVCTI, 
ffvvndevres Kal dia\vovres e eTmre- 
8ui> Kal els eTriweda (Tim. 53 C sq ) : 
De Coelo, ii. 3, 280 b. 27 : en 
Kal ol Siaipovvres eis eiriTreSa . . . 
HeftaprvprjKevai (paivovrai rovrois 
&c. (Tim. loc. cit.) ; De ( celo, ii. 
13, 293 b. 30 : frioi 5^ ... <pa.(rlv 
O.VTTJV iXXeadai similarly Ibid. 1, 
10, 280 a, 28 ; ... uvirep ev r$ 
Tt/xatV (40 B) yeypcnrrai ; part. 
Anim. iv. 2, 076 b. 22: dioirep ol 
\eyovres TTJV <f>uffiv rrjs x^y* 
a.icrdr)(re&s rivos elvai xdpiv, ov 
KO.\WS \eyovviv. <f>a.(ri yap, &c. (Tim. 
71 A-D) Pol. vii. 17, 1336 a. 34: 
ras 5e Siardffeis ruv iralowv Kal 
K\avdfAovs OVK opO&s dirayopevovo iv 
ol Kw\vovres ev rots v6,aois (Laws, 
vii. 791 E sq.) By these ex 
amples the scruples raised .is to 
Polit. iv. 2, 1289 b. 5, being a 
reference to Plato (Polit. 303 A), 
aiv, so far as concerns the manner 
of the reference, now settled. 
Aristotle says there: i}8ij fj.ev oZv 
TIS dire<t>r]vaTo Kal rtcv Trp6repov 
ovrwj,^ ov /LLTJV els ravro /SXe ^as 
ur. eKelvos fj.ev yap tKpive, iraff&v 
H*v [sc. T&V TToXtretwi ] ovff&v 

riav, (pavXuv 5 dpivrrjv. Schaar- 
schmidt (Sind. Soph. u. Polit 
echt., &c. Rhein. Mus. N. F. xix. 
p. 2)^ thinks that he perhaps wishes 
to give us to understand that he 
did not know the author of the 
Politicus, or else that he did not 
consider it to be Plato s. As far 
as I know, Plato is never cited by 
him in this way or in any way at all 
approaching this. Similarly Uebcr- 
weg (Zeitschr. f. Philos. N. F. Ivii. 
^.^says that the Sophist and 
Politicus are not attested by Aris 
totle as writings of Plato, but only 
of rls r&v Trp6repov, and Suckow 
(Form. d. plat. Schr. 87 sq.) argues 
in detail that Aristotle, if he knew 
and accepted the Politicus as Pla 
tonic, could not possibly have 
failed to mention Plato s name in 
our passages. Even Steinhart 
(Ztschr. f. Philos. Iviii. 47) finds 
the anonymous mention of Plato 
in the Politics so inexplicable that 
he prefers to attribute the reference 
in the passage before us to an un 
known writer whose views Plato 
had appropriated. In reality, how 
ever, the way in which the passage 
of the Politicus is here referred to 
differs from the references to the 
Republic, Tirnaeus, and Laws before 
quoted only in this respect, that the 
author of this dialogue is denoted 
not by rives or ^vioi, but by ris in 
the singular number, that is to say, 
the definite person, whom Aristotle 
is thinking about, is more distinctly 
and clearly referred to than in the 
other places. 


between the passage in Aristotle and the corresponding 
passage of a Platonic dialogue, and the less reason we 
have for supposing that the author of the dialogue 
made use of the Aristotelian writing, the clearer it 
becomes that the dialogue in question was known to 
Aristotle, and the greater the probability that this, 
like other portions of our Platonic collection, simi 
larly quoted and employed, was recognised by him as 

Among the writings that have been transmitted to 
us as Platonic, those which are most frequently criti 
cised by Aristotle, with continual mention both of the 
author and the dialogue, are th^r three great expository 
works the Republic, the^fcna3iis, and the Laws. 
Besides these, the Phaodo omy is expressly designated 
by him as a work of Plato. 42 The Phaedrus is once 
named, 43 and its definition of the soul is twice quoted 
as Platonic. 44 The speech of Aristophanes from the 
Symposium is treated in a manner that presupposes 
the authenticity of that dialogue ; 45 and the same may 
be said of the allusions to the Gorgias, Meno, and 

4a Metaph. i. 9, 991 b. 3, xiii. 896 A; that they have borrowed 

5, 1U80, 2 a. Gen. et Corr. ii. 9, from one and the same writing is 

335 b. 9 (these three quotations shown by the passage in the Meta- 

refer to Phsedo, 100 B sq.). physics in its use" of the present 

further references are given in oi ercu. Of. p. 59 sq. 

Index Arist. Polit. ii. 4, 12G2 b. 11 : 

* Ehet. iii. 7 (vide p. 58, 31), a Kdeairep ev rots epom/cotj \6yois 

passage which gives no occasion fofj.ei> ^eyovra rbv ApL<jTO(pa.vrjv. 

for the ccruples entertained on p. Previously a tenet of the Platonic 

55. llepublic was mentioned ; still it 

4 Top. vii. 3, 140 b. 3; Metaph. would not follow as a matter of 

xii.^G, 1071 b. 37. Both places in course that the Symposium was 

their statement of this definition also attributed to Plato ; it is clear, 

coincide more closely with the Phae- however, from the remarks on p. 

drus, 245 C, than with the Laws, x. 58 sq. that this was the case. 

PLATO S W2UTIXG& , ;r , 

Lesser Hippias. 46 The Thea3tetus is not actually men 
tioned, but passages are adduced as from Platonic 
writings, which are only there to be found. 47 Similarly 
the Philebus is not named by Aristotle; but in certain 
passages of his Ethics he evidently has it in mind, 4 * 
and in one of these passages he cites expressly from a 
Platonic exposition, propositions which the Philebus 
alone contains. 49 We therefore cannot doubt that he 

in Bonitz, Ind. Arist. 598 b. 32 so.. naHnV1-j- .. 3!l 

an to the Gorgias 
4Jy sq., because here it is not 
asserted that no pleasure is a good, 
but it is merely denied that every 
pleasure is a good. 

the remarkable expression ahrfafr)) 
yfrcffts emphasised there is wanting 
here. On the other hand, in what 
precedes, Z. 8 (trep6v n /3e\Ttov 
dva.L T?}? i]5ovf)s, uaircp rtj/e s 0a<rt, 
rb reXos r??s yevfoews ), he refers to 
Phil. 54 B sq. Possibly the 
Aristotelian origin of this para 
graph is uncertain (cf. Part ii. b. 
72, 1, 2nd edit.); should it, how- 
over, only proceed from Eudemus 
its evidence is none the less worthy 
of consideration. Further cf. my 
Platon. Stud. 281 sq 

-I l l. il XT 

1172 b. 28: 

49 Eth. N. 

TOIOVTU di) Xo7^ Kal U\a.Twv dvcupei 
STI OVK tariv rfiovriTa.ya.66v ai 

T " 

xupa , 

rpu J-^UJ. AJ. 

Ihe supposition of Schaarschmidt 
(Samml. d. plat. Schr. 278 sq.) is 
entirely inadmissible (as Georgii 
Jahrb. f. Philol. 18G8, vol. 97, 300 
sq. clearly shows). He refers the 
quotation of Aristotle to Protag. 

bus, and would account for the 
great conformity of it with the 
Philebus by supposing the writer 
of the Philebus to have made use 
of the passage of Aristotle. Not 
merely are the expressions different 
in the Protagoras there is no 
mention of <t>p6vr)<Tis, of alperbv, of 
the mixed life and of the separation 
fowpts) of pleasure and knowledge, 
as in the Philebus, but there is 
simply nothing at all that Aristotle 
quotes from Plato. The Prota 
goras does not refute the identifi 
cation of the good with pleasure, by 
showing that pleasure joined with 
knowledge is better than pleasure 
alone ; but from the presupposition 
that the good consists in pleasure (a 
presupposition, thc problematical 



was acquainted with this dialogue and recognised its 
authenticity. There are also in the writings of Aris 
totle many indications, which sometimes taken inde 
pendently, sometimes in their coincidence, 50 unmistak- 

correctness of which is indeed 
hinted at, p. 358 B, which, how 
ever, Socrates himself makes and 
never attacks) it is demonstrated 
that every man does that from 
which he anticipates for himself 
most enjoyment and least pain. ; 
it is therefore impossible to sin 
against his better knowledge, 
through being overcome by plea 
sure a tenet which. Aristotle loc. 
cit. does not mention. 

50 Indeed the value of Aristotle s 
evidence is in a high degree 
strengthened thereby. In an en 
tire series of passages from differ 
ent works, widely distant in point 
of time, Aristotle shows an agree 
ment with two writings in our 
collection of Plato s works (which, 
owing to their reciprocal references 
(Soph. 217 A Polit. ad init.), 
must stand or fall together), so 
striking, not only in thought but 
in expression, that it cannot pos 
sibly be attributed merely to acci 
dent. He alludes in one (perh. 
two) of these passages expressly 
to Plato, in a second (Metaph. 
xiv. 2 ; see previous note) clearly 
enough to a Platonic written trea 
tise, in a third (Polit. iv. 2, see p. 
62, 41) to a rts TUV irpbrepov, in 
the rest indefinitely to views and 
assertions, the author of which 
indeed he does not name, but 
which he had already before him 
from various sources. How are 
these facts to be explained, if 
Aristotle either did not know the 
Sophist and Politicus, or did not 
acknowledge them as Platonic? 

(two cases, the difference between 
which Schaarschmidt loc. cit. 98 
sq., 237 sq. does not clearly dis 
tinguish). The first of these sup 
positions is disproved by the definite 
and repeated allusion of Aristotle 
to his predecessors whose views 
are here noticed ; for it is quite 
beyond the bounds of probability 
to suppose either that Aristotle 
picked up and retailed out of oral 
tradition or lost writings all that 
is found in our dialogues, (the 
mention of which is most simply 
explained by his having made use 
of these dialogues), or that the 
writer of those dialogues only 
collected these scattered notices 
by way of a supplement, either 
from the same sources as Aristotle, 
or from his own works. If on 
the other hand we suppose that the 
Sophist and Politicus were indeed 
used by Aristotle, but not acknow 
ledged as Platonic, we shall seek 
in vain for any explanation of the 
fact that, Metaph. vi. 2 (xi. 8),_he 
quotes as Platonic a passage which 
is found in a dialogue recognised 
by himself to be spurious ; or that, 
Metaph. xiv. 2, in his statement of 
the grounds which gave rise to a 
far-reaching determination of Pla 
tonic doctrines, he follows the 
thoughts and expressions of a 
supposititious writing of Plato s in 
reference to the same subjects ; and 
again that he repeatedly favours a 
second pseudo-Platonic dialogue 
with a notice, of which, one would 
have imagined, he would scarcely 
have thought such an apocryphal 


ably prove that both the Sophist 51 and the Politicus 8 - 

production worthy, considering 
that generally (cf. 57) he refers to 
no Socratic dialogues, except those 
Which are contained in our collec 
tion of Plato s works, and conse 
quently, as \ve must conclude, to such 
only as he recognised to be Platonic. 
11 The following passages seem 
to refer to the Sophist : (1) Metaph 

VI 10-Vl 1> 1J. XA TTV 

i. -, J.U-O, u. Jl-i : did TlXdTCjv 
Tpbirov Tiva. ov KaK&s rr\v (rofaa-TiKTjv 

, irepl TO fj.r] ov tTa&v. If Aristotle 
here alludes to a Platonic dialogue 
this can only be the Sophist in 

i which 254, A stands the following : 
the Sophist, aTrodiopdvKWv els TTJV 

Trpoaa7TT6,uevoy avTijs can with dif 
ficulty be caught sight of; and 
Schaarschmidt is entirely mistaken 
(Samml. d. plat. Schr. 190) in re 
ferring instead of this to the Ke- 
pnblic vi. 492 A-494 B, where 
there is nothing about the relation 
of Sophistic to the ^ &v. From the 
same passage comes (2) Metaph. 
xi. 8, a paragraph which is only 
another recension of vi. 2, 1004, b. 
: Sto^nXdrwi/ ov KaK&s dprjKe 
0?7<ras Tbv (rocpKrTTjv irepl TO /mi) ov 
8iaT P [(3fiv. Here the quotation of 
the Sophist is so perfectly obvious, 
that even Schaarschmidt allows it 
(Samml. d. plat. Schr. 101) ; and 
even if this part of the Metaphysics 
does not come from Aristotle (on 
which vide p. 54, 22), still the 
passage has its importance ag evi 
dence for the reference, which the 
words in Metaph. vi. 2 had given 
before. However, there is no need 
of this evidence ; even of itself it 
is highly improbable that a judg 
ment which occurs in a written 
treatise handed down as Platonic 

and here only, should be quoted by 
Aristotle as indeed Platonic, but 
not out of this treatise. (On the 
past tense fra^e cf. p. 02, 39.) Still 
a _ this passage stood alone, we 
might have some doubt. But we 
find in Aristotle still further ex 
press references to the Sophist. 
(3) In Metaph. xiv. 2, 1088, b. 
35, Aristotle remarks, in connec 
tion with the question, whether 
the Ideas and Numbers are com 
posed^ of ^certain (TToixeta : TroXXa 
ptv ofiv TO. aiTia 7775 e?rt ra^ras rds 
ovatas e/CT0o7rr?j, fidXyio-Ta 8t TO 


7rai>T tffe<T0JU v T a ovra, avrb TO ov, 
djLiri TIS \vcrei Kal 6/j.6(re /3a5te?rat 
T^llao^evipov Xoyy " ov yap ^-fjiroTe 
TOVTO darjs elvat /JLTJ tovra," d\V 
dvdyKTj eli>ai TO /ur) dv8eicu8Tt HVTIV. 
offru yap e/c TOV ZVTOS Kal &\\ov 
rivbs Ta ovTa 2<recr0ai, d 7ro\\c 
four. Cf. 1089, a. 19: <fr irolov 
ovv flrrof Kal ^ ZVTOS TroXXa TO, 
OVTO. ; /Soi/Xerat ^v drj TO ^ev8o<: Kal 
ravT-rjv TTJV Qvaw \tyew (Alex. 
X^et) TO OVK 6v. /c.r.X. Now that in 
this passage Aristotle did not 
merely (as Schaarschmidt, Rhein. 
Mus. xviii. 7; Samml. d. Plat. 
Schr. 105 wishes to make out) in 
tend us to understand Platonic 
scholars, but, primarily Plato 
himself, is at once clear from 
the beginning, in which his object 
is to display the grounds which 
gave rise originally to the suppo 
sition of elements of the Ideas ; for 
this supposition was undoubted 
ly first propounded by Plato, and 
Schaarschmidt loc. cit. is wrong in 
believing that the reference here 
cannot be to Plato, inasmuch as 
the doctrine of Ideas in Aristotle s 

F 2 


were regarded by him as Platonic ; and as the Politico 
is plainly referred to in the Laws, 53 it has the further 
support of all the evidence on the side of the latter. 

Metaph. xiii. 4. 1078, b. 12, 1, 6, 
987, a. 29, is derived from Socratic 
and Heraclitean doctrines, whereas 
the view of the tvioi in our passage 
[together with another, it runs: 
TroXXa \v odv ra atria] is derived 
from a reference to the Parmenides. 
There the question is concerned 
with the Ideas, here with the ele 
ments, iinity, and the great and 
small. Further, the reference of 
the passage before us to Plato 
follows from the singular jSotfXcreu 
and (according to Alexander s read 
ing) \tyfi , these same expressions, 
however (cf. p. 59 sq.), show that 
Arist. is referring to a definite 
written treatise of Plato s,^ which 
can be no other than the Sophist, 
for in the Sophist only does what 
we have here occur. Again, though 
Aristotle, as usual, does not quote 
word for word, only formulating 
more precisely what Plato says, 
in conformity with his supposed 
meaning (jSoyXercu), and further on 
(1089, a. 21) adding a remini 
scence from lectures or oral disqui 
sitions (See on this point Bonitz 
ad loc. ; Ueberweg, Plat, Schr. 
157 f) still the allusion to pas 
sages like Soph. 237 A, 241 D, 
242 A, 258 D, E, cannot be mis 
taken (as Pilger, in his Programm 
iib. d. Athetese des plat. Soph. 
Berl. 1869, p. 7, sq., thoroughly 
proves). (4) It must remain un 
decided whether Metaph. vii. 4, 
1030, a. 25 ; Rhet. 24, 1402, a. 4 ; 
Soph. El. 25, 180, a. 32, are to be 
referred specially to the remarks 
in the Sophist (258 E, 260 C) 
about the M&V; in Do Interpr. 11, 
21, a. 32 (rb o M ov, 6Yi * 

OVK d\T]Vs eiireu/ ov n\ and Soph. 
El. 5, 167, a. 1 (olov d rb w ov 
<TTL 5oa<rrbv, Sri rb w ov t<rriv\ it 
is exceedingly probable, though 
not strictly proved, that there is 
an allusion to Soph. 240 D 241, 
B; for with the point which is 
expressly emphasised in this pas- 
gage, that we cannot use expres 
sions like ^CVOT) oo&fav, ^without 
asserting \pev8T) ws tanv & 86cus 
re Ko.1 Kara \6yovs, and consc- , 
quently attributing the ov to tho 
^ Sj/> _ parallel passages like 
Theaetet. 189, A. Eep. v., 476, E. 
478, B. do not correspond so 
closely. (5) The reference of Top. 
vi. 7, 146, a. 22 sq. to Soph. 247 
D, is more certain : in the latter 
passage as an example of a dis- 
iunctive definition, which is there 
fore open to certain objections, is 
quoted, 6Vt TO di> _ TO ovvarbv 
iradtiv T) iroirj<rai ; in the former 
also we read : Xe ^w 5rj rb /ecu 
oTTOiavovv KeKT-^fji-evov 8ui>aui.v. eiV eis 
TO 7roieu> frepov bnovv TrefivKos era 
ei s rb Tradelv. . . . irav rovro 6VTWS 
elvat; this is again repeated 248, 
c. and it is shown that this de 
termination is also applicable to 
supersensuous existence. Itisincre- 
dible that so characteristic a defini 
tion was propounded earlier by any 
other philosopher ; it seems rather 
as if it was first put forward by its 
author in connection with the in 
quiry introduced in the Sophist, 
for the purpose of solving _ the 
questions there raised, and it if 
moreover actually brought in as 
something new and hitherto un 
known to the opponents at p. 247 



it is clear from the Rhetoric that the Apology was 
acknowledged by Aristotle; but some doubt exists with 

- The passage of the Politics 
where Arist. mentions the judg 
ment of one of his predecessors 
on democracy has been already 
quoted, p. 62, 41. If we compare 
with it Polit. 303 A: did ytyove [77 
i] iraauiv /j.ev vou,l- 
overly TOUTUV vet- 
, Trapa.v6fj.uv d ovo-uv v/u.Tra.<ruv 
ftf\rl<rni, the complete harmony in 
thought ; and in words too, as far 
as can be expected in a quotation 
from memory ; makes it almost un- 
I imaginable that Aristotle had any 
other passage in his mind. Not 
less decided are the two passages 
Polit. iii. 15, 16, 1286, a. 7, 1287, 
a. 33. The first proposes the ques 
tion ; irdrepov ffvpfopei ftaXXov virb 
TOV dpivTov dvdpos &p X ecT0ai $ two 
dpt<TTii)v v6fj.<i)v, and remarks 
TO?S nplfrwrt 

TO Ka66Xov 
\tyetv, dXX O fi 

irpoffiriwrovTO. CTriTaTTeiv, war Iv 
OTToiaovv Tex^y TO /card ypa/j-jnaT 
&PXii> TjXiBiov the second in criti 
cising this view mentions particu 
larly the latter point: TO 6 T&V 
rexvuv dvai doKel Trapd8eiyfj.a 
fevdos, ore TO /card ypd^ara 
ia.Tptve<r0at <f>av\oi>. The assertions 
here combated are developed at 
length in the Politicus : p. 294 A. 
sq., it is shown: TO tfp&io-Tov ov TOI -S 
v6fj.ovs eaTlv iaxoetv, d\\ AvSpa TOV 
M.CTO. (f)povr}<Tfws pacr<.\L K bv, and this 
is supported by the argument that 
the law lays down the same or 
dinance for all persons and cases 
without regard to particular cir 
cumstances, that it is a &A Trai/T-d? 
ytyvojj.hov dir\ovv, 717369 Ta woewoTe 
aTrXa ; and in the further working 
out of this position occurs (295 

B, and previously 293 A) the 
comparison with the physicians, 
who do not bind themselves strictly 
to the rules of their art, when 
that art itself shows them that 
under given circumstances a de 
parture therefrom is advisable. 
We must conclude that this was 
actually the comparison to which 
Aristotle loc. cit. alludes, although 
we do not know that the Politicus 
was in his possession: for there 
can be no question as to an ac 
cidental coincidence in such a cha 
racteristic thought ; and it is just 
as incredible that the author of 
the Politicus based his own theory, 
self-consistent as it is, and deduced 
i rom^ Socratico- Platonic presup 
positions with such consummate 
accuracy and justness, merely on 
the passages in Aristotle, and still 
more incredible that he should 
have done this without attempting 
to remove the objections of Aristotlo 
at all ; Now Aristotle actually 
met with the views which he com 
bats : where else can he have found 
them except in the dialogue be 
fore us? For otherwise we must 
suppos3 before our Politicus an 
other treatise forming its counter 
part, belonging likewise to the 
Platonic school, and corresponding 
with it, even in the particulars 
of the thoughts and the exposition. 
Moreover the assertion which 
Arist. Polit. 1, 1, 1252, a. 7, 
combats : 7ro\trt/c> Kal patrtXiKo v 
Kai OIKOVO/J.IKOV Kal deo-rroriKoit elvai 
TOV ai Tov, is found together with 
the reason ; cos ovdev Siafiepovvav 
ftfydXrjv oiidav r) jmtKpav ir6Xiv, al 
most word for word in the Poli 
ticus 259 B, C; the same asser 


regard to the Menexenus. 84 He nowhere mentions the 
Parmenides ; there is only one minor particular, which 
may possibly be quoted from it. 55 But if the Philebus 
really alludes to the Parmenides, 56 the evidence for the 
one dialogue would indirectly apply to the other. The 
Protagoras, too, is never specified; but it was ap 
parently known to Aristotle, 57 and used by him as a 

tion is repeatedly spoken of by 
Aristotle, Pol. i. . 5, 1253, b. 18, 
c. 7, beg. vii., 3. 1325, a. 27. 
Further parallel passages, the 
evidence of which is however infe 
rior to those hitherto quoted, are 
given in the Index Arist. 

53 This follows from a compari 
son of the Laws, iv. 713 C sq. 
(on the golden age), with Polit. 
271 Dsq." Schaarschmidt, however 
(Samml. <1. plat. Schr.),_ thinks the 
passage of the Laws imitated in 
the Politicus. In my opinion, the 
freshness and originality of the 
exposition in the passage before 
us is so decided, that the grounds 
for its spuriousness must be _ very 
strong, before we should be justi 
fied in looking for the origin of 
the Politicus in the wider amplifi 
cations of the Laws, which _even 
here (713 E) obviously contain an 
allusion to the Republic (v. 473, 
c. sq.). 

54 The passages with which we 
are here concerned were quoted on 
. p. 54, and the grounds on which 
the citations of the 3rd Bk. of the 
Rhetoric were called in question 
were there indicated. Apart from 
these, however, the use of the Apo 
logy is proved by Kliet. 11, 23; al 
though the saying of Socrates, 
which is quoted 1, 9, with the 
words ^uKpdrrjs ZXeyev n ia y, ac 
cording to what we have said at 

p. 60 sq. have come to Aristotle 
from other quarters, as for instance 
from the Menexenus. Even if he 
knew this dialogue, we must still 
suppose other sources of tradition 
for Socratic sayings, for he could 
scarcely have attributed it to the 
historic Socrates merely on the 
authority of the Menexenus. 

55 In "the passage mentioned p. 
59, 34, which certainly may como 
from the Parmenides as well as 
from the Theretetus. 

0(J I have already supported this 
in my Platon. Stud. 194, by the 
argument that the first part of 
the Parmenides (129 B sq., 130 
E sq.) is as good as directly cited 
in the Philebus (14 C, 15 B), and 
this reason I still think is quite 
valid. Schaarschmidt (Samml. A. 
plat. Schr. 277) also agrees with 
me ; he, however, makes use of 
this supposition in a different di 
rection from that above, and con 
cludes from the spuriousness of the 
Parmenides, which he believes to 
be incontestable, that the Philebus 
likewise cannot be genuine. 

57 The proof is furnished by the 
passage quoted in Uonitz s Index, 
Part, Anim. iv. 10, 087, a. 24: 
people complain ws GvvtaTi} off 
/caXws 6 civdpuTTOs dXXd xei/oujra 
T&V tyuv dvvTr68r]T6v re yap avTov 
dval 0ao-i KO.I yv/JLvbv Kal OVK ifx "- 
ra OTT\OV irpbs TVJV d\K-fjv. Cf. Prot. 




historical authority. 58 He seems also to have been ac 
quainted with the Lysis, Charmides, and Laches; 
though this is not so certain as in the case of the Pro 
tagoras. 59 It is still more doubtful whether or not two 
passages relate to the Cratylus G0 and the Greater Hip- 
pias. 61 The Euthydemus is indeed referred to by Eu- 
demus ; G ~ but the fallacies which Aristotle quotes from 
ihe sophist of that name 65 are not to be found in the 
Platonic dialogue ; and though certainly on the suppo- 

21 C (Protagoras s Myth.): /cat 6/39 
TO. fj,v &\\a i"(pa f/x./i6\ws TrdvTUv 
XovTa, TOV 5e avdpuwov yvfj.v6v TC 
Kal dvvTrodrjTov Kal affTpWTOv Kal 

58 YOT instance Trot. 352 B sq. 
is the source of the account about 
>Socrates Eth. N. vii. 3 ad init., 
and the notice of Protag. Ethic. N. 
x. 1, 1164, a. 24 refers to Trot. 
328 B sq. Also Eth. N. iii. 9, 
1115, a. 9 approaches nearer Prot. 
358 D than Lacli. 198 B. 

59 Cf. the references in Bonitz s 
Index Arist. 599 a. and the pro- 
ceding note. 

] )c An. 1 2. 405, b. 27: 5to Kal 
rots dvofj-affiv a.Ko\ovdovcriv, ol TO 
0p/j,bv \tyot>Tes (sc. TTJV ^vx^v), OTL 
Sta TOUTO Kal TO rjv wfd/xaoTaf, ol 
-5e rb tyvxpbv Sia TTJV ava-jrvo^v /cat 

Crat. 399 D : in the name 

the consideration seems to have 

l^ecn, ws TOVTO dpa, OTO.V iraprj 

(Tw/xart, airibv tcrri TOV fj 

TTJV TOV avairveiv 8uvafj.iv 

/cat ava^vxov. 

(il JLipp. Mnj. 20 A, Socrates 
puts forth the definition tentatively, 
and immediately shows it to be 
useless, OTL TO Ka\6v COTI TO dC 
d/co7}s re Kal ^^cws tfdv. The same 

definition is also mentioned by 
Aristotle, Top. vi. 7, 146, a. 21 as 
an example of a faulty disjunctive 
definition (ofo? TO Ka\6v TO 5t 
6^eo)s T) TO Si d/coT/s i]8v). lie does 
not, however, say whence he got 
it, and there is nothing to pre 
vent our supposing that, like the 
definition quoted in Top. v. 5, 135, 
a. 12, it was originally propounded 
by some writer of the Sophistic 
period (some Prodicus or (Jorgias), 
or else by some one unknown to us, 
and was met with by Aristotle in 
dependently of the Hippias ; or 
that it was current in the Academic 
school (based on Phileb. 51 B sq., 
or a corresponding oral discussion) 
and was therefore known to Aris 
totle just as much as to the author 
of the Hippias, supposing him to 
have been other than Plato. The 
statement of it in Aristotle also 
varies considerably from that in 
the Hippias, and according to 
Metaph. v. 29 (vide p. 392, 3) 
Aristotle seems to have been ac 
quainted with only one Ilippias, 
vi/. the Ilippias Minor. 

62 Cf. p. 50, 13. 

Soph. El. 20, 177, b. 12 sq.; 
Rhet. 11, 24, 1401, a. 2(5: cf. vol. 
i. 914, 4, 3rd edit. 


sition of its genuineness, we should expect Aristotle to 
have used it in his examination of fallacies which 
often brought him in contact with it, w this relation of 
the two expositions is not sufficiently established to 
serve as proof for the authenticity of the Euthydemus. 

If, then, any dialogue in our collection is mentioned 
by Aristotle as Platonic, or used by him in a manner 
that presupposes it to be so, this circumstance is 
greatly in favour of its authenticity. For twenty years 
before the death of Plato, Aristotle was a member of 
the Platonic School at Athens; after that event In- 
quitted the city, but returned twelve or thirteen years 
later for the rest of his life. That during the lifetime 
of the master any writing should have been falsely 
regarded as his work, by scholars who were already well 
instructed on the subject, or had the opportunity at 
any moment of becoming so, is quite impossible. Even 
in the generation succeeding his death, while Speusip- 
pus and Xenocrates were at the head of the Academy, 
and Aristotle and other personal disciples of Plato 
lived in Athens, this could only have occurred under 
quite peculiar conditions, and to a very limited extent. 
It is indeed conceivable that some one of the less 
important dialogues might after the death of Plato 
have been admitted even by his immediate disciples 
without previous acquaintance with it, as an earlier 
work that had escaped their attention, or under certain 
circumstances as a posthumous bequest. Cases of this 
kind have occurred in our own times, though we are so 
much richer than the ancients in resources, and more 

Cf. Part I. 010 sq. 


practised in literary criticism. It might still ^ 

easily liappeu that an imperfect sketch of Plato s, com 
pleted by another after his death an unfinished 
writing, worked up by one of his disciples might be 
received as wholly genuine, without accurate discrimi 
nation of the original from the later ingredients. But 
it is incredible that such things should frequently have 
repeated themselves in the first generation after the 
master s death ; or that reputed works of his, which, 
had they existed, must on account of their importance 
have been owned during his lifetime by the School, 
should afterwards have emerged, and have been univer 
sally recognised. If the testimony of Aristotle to 
Platonic writings, so far as it is clear and undoubted, 
does not absolutely guarantee their authenticity, it is 
at all events so strong an argument in their favour, that 
only the weightiest internal evidence should be suffered 
to countervail it ; and if any criticism of the Platonic 
collection starts from presuppositions requiring the 
rejection of numerous works recognised by Aristotle, 
there is enough in this one circumstance to prove these 
presuppositions incorrect. 

But if the evidence of Aristotle has this importance 
on the side of the writings from which he quotes, can 
we with certainty conclude that those about which he is 
silent are spurious ? No one would maintain this with 
out some qualification. . Aristotle is not passing judg 
ment on Plato s works as a literary historian who Is 
wund to furnish a complete catalogue of them, and to 
bell all that he knows. Nor does he deal with them as a 
modern writer of the history of philosophy, whose object 


it is to combine their whole philosophic content into a 
representation of the Platonic theory ; he only mentions 
them when occasion offers, in stating his own views, or 
criticising or opposing those of Plato and Socrates. We 
must not expect him, therefore, to name everything that 
is known to him as Platonic, but only such writings as it 
was necessary or desirable to mention for the purposes 
of any scientific discussion he might happen to be pur- j 
suing. Even this canon, however, must be cautiously 
applied. Plato s works are for us the sole, or at any rate 
the principal, source of our knowledge concerning his j 
system : we cannot speak of the Platonic philosophy 
without continually recurring to them. , In the case of 
Aristotle it was otherwise. He owes his knowledge of 
the Platonic doctrines in the first place to verbal com 
munication and personal intercourse; in the second 
place only, to the writings of Plato. They were to him 
but subsidiary sources ; in the exposition of the doc 
trines, he uses them sometimes for the confirmation of 
that which he already knows from Plato s oral dis 
courses ; but he has no occasion to enter more deeply 
into their contents except on subjects which were not 
examined in those discourses. Of such subjects, the 
most important seem to be the application of philoso 
phical principles to the explanation of nature and tc 
political institutions: hence the numerous quotations 
from the Republic, the Timaeus, and the Laws. The 
metaphysical basos of the system, on the other hand 
are indeed frequently and searchingly criticised by Aris 
totle, but in by far the greater number of cases on th< 
ground of Plato s discourses- the propaedeutic enqui 

I ries into the conception of knowledge, true virtue, 
and the art of governing, love, the right scientific 
method, and its opposition to the Sophistic teaching, 
: are seldom touched upon. Only one 5 of the many pas 
sages from which we derive our knowledge of the 
theory of ideas is quoted by hiin; he makes no allusion 
to what is said on this subject in the Republic, Timams, 
Symposium, Pha-drus, and Therotetus ; nor to the ex- 
j planations of the Sophist, Parmenides, and Philebus, 
though there was abundant opportunity for it. Even 
the well-known discussions of the Republic upon the 
Good are merely glanced at with an uncertain hint, 60 
despite the frequent occasions when they might have 
been aptly introduced. If we turn to those dialogues 
tli.> authenticity of which has never been questioned, 
we find the Protagoras, as before remarked, 67 apparently 
made use of in some passages, but it is never named, 
and nothing is quoted from it as Platonic. The Thea?- 
tetus is twice mentioned, the Gorgias and the Sympo 
sium once ; and none of these quotations relate to the 
main content of the dialogues they are only incidental 
recollections of certain particulars in them, the notice 
of which seems entirely fortuitous. All this being con 
sidered, we may well hesitate to conclude from Aris 
totle s silence with regard to any Platonic writing, that 
e was unacquainted with it; 68 and this so much the 
more, as we do not even possess the whole of Aristotle s 

" The Fhaedo 100 B sq., quoted (;r p 70 

EVti! ; - P JV 2 ,- * A " the case with the 1 ar- 

m -tin. iv. 1 2 109o, a. 26 is a menides ; Uebenveg. plat. Hclir 

cnnmscence of Kep. vi. ;>07 A; 176 sq.; Schaarschmidt? Samrol. d. 

nit 17 U pi. Schr. 104. 


works, and some lost writing or fragment might very 
possibly contain citations from dialogues for which we- 
have now no Aristotelian evidence. It is certainly 
surprising that Aristotle should assert that Plato never 
enquired wherein the participation of things in ideas 
consists ; G9 while in the Parmeiiides (130 E sqq.) the 
difficulties with which this theory has to contend are 
clearly pointed out. But it is not more surprising 
than that he should assail the doctrine of ideas with 
the question : * Who formed the things of sense after 
the pattern of the ideas ? 70 though it is distinctly 
stated in the Timseus (28 C sq.) that the Creator of 
the world did this in looking on the eternal archetypes. 71 
Nor, again, that he should maintain, notwithstanding 
the well-known explanation in the Phsedo, 72 often 
alluded to by himself notwithstanding the doctrine in 
the Republic, of the Good being the absolute end of the 
W0 rld that the final cause is not touched by the 
ideas. 73 We should have expected that in attacking 

9 Metapli. 1, 987, b. 13 : 
fj.ti>TOi ye /J.e0e%ii> $ TT}V fj.i/ 
TJTLS av eirj TWV etSwv, d^elaav i^P 
nnd the Pythagoreans) ev 

70 Metapli. 1, 9, 991, a. 20 : TO 
S "\fyeiv irapafielyiJiaTa aura [sc. 
TO, i8tj~\ flvai .... KcvoKoyelv 
eari . . . . TI yap eVri TO fpyaf- 
6/Afvov ?rpos ras t S^as dTrof3\^Trov , 
Ibid. 992, a. 24 ; xii. 10, 1075, b. 
19. In my Platon. Stud. 215, I 
have mentioned a similar instance, 
where Arist. (only incidentally) 
denies to Plato researches which 
he had actually made (Gen. ct 
Corr. 1, 2, 315 a., 29 sq. ; cf. Tim. 
68Dsq., 70 B sq., 73-81). 

71 Or if it should be maintained 
in the latter case, that the Pemiur- 
gus is not a scientific explanation 
and might therefore have been left 
out of account by Aristotle, he 
might just as well waive the diffi 
culties of the Parmenides because 
no positive determination is there 
given as to how we are to under 
stand the participation of things 
in the Ideas. 

72 On which sec p. 64, 42. 

73 Metapli. 1, 9, 992, a. 29 : ovSi 
or) 6 Trepi ras e7rt<rr>7jU,as (so Alex.. 
and Cod. A b ; perhaps, however,. 
7roi?7<reis should be read instead o 
^Tricrr.) opwuev ftv O.LTIOV, dib Kal Trfis 
vovs Kal Tra<ra (puffis TTOIC?, 

I*LA 7v>,y wjtiTrxGS. 77 

Plato about the T p[ T og avOpwiro?, 74 Aristotle, had he 
been acquainted with the Parmenides, would have re 
ferred to the fact that in that dialogue (132 A ) the same 
objection is raised. But might we not also have ex 
pected after the further stricture : < Plato ought then 
to assume ideas of art productions, mere relations, &c., 
which he does not/ 75 some such remark as this: In his 
writings he certainly does speak of such ideas ? And 
in the discussions concerning the Platonic theory of the 
world-soul, 70 should we not have anticipated some men 
tion of the passage in the Laws about the evil soul, 77 
which has given so many handles to criticism ? Many 
)ther things besides these might reasonably have been 
>oked for on the supposition that the writings of Plato 
the same significance, as sources of his doctrines, 
for Aristotle as for us, and were used by him in a 
similar manner. But this we have no right to presup. 
pose ; and therefore his not alluding to a writing is by 
no means sufficient to prove that it was unknown to 
him, or that he did not acknowledge it to be Platonic. 

By means of Aristotle s testimony, supplemented 
sometimes from other quarters/ 8 we are thus enabled to 
ascribe a number of writings to Plato with all the cer 
tainty that can be attained in this way. 79 These works 
acquaint us with the scientific and literary character of 
their author, and so furnish us with a criterion for the 

:r:2: mv *- p- 1*?^., 2nd edit. 

i. an p. 113sq. of this vol. 
b De An. 1, 3, 40G, b. 25; cf. 


criticism of other works or portions of works which 
are either insufficiently supported by external evidence, 
or in their form or contents are open to suspicion. 
Great care, however, is necessary in fixing and applying 
this standard ; and in some cases even the most cautious 
weighing of favourable and adverse considerations can 
not insure absolute certainty. 80 In the first place we 
must decide, on which of the dialogues noticed by Aris 
totle our Platonic criterion is to be based. If we con 
fine ourselves to those which he expressly attributes to 
Plato, we shall have only the Republic, the TimaBus, 
the Pht^do, and the Laws; and important as these 
works are, it is questionable whether they represent the 
scientific and literary individuality of the many-sided 
Plato exhaustively enough to make everything appear 
un-Platonic that at all departs from their type. If, on 
the other hand, we also take into account those writings 
of which Aristotle makes use without mentioning their 
author, or from which he quotes something that Plato 
has said, without naming the dialogue, we find that 
the Philebus is as well attested as the Theastetus ; the 
Sophist, Politicus, Meno, and the Lesser Hippias, as 
the Gorgias and Symposium ; and all of them better 
than the Protagoras, the authenticity of which no one 
doubts. Our Platonic criterion must, in this case, 
therefore be considerably wider than that of Ueberweg 
and Schaarschmidt. Moreover it must not be imagined 
that each divergence in a dialogue from those works 
considered normal is necessarily a proof of its spurious- 

80 On what follows cf. the valuable paper of Steinhart, Ztsclir. f. 
Phil. Iviii. 55 sq. 


id ness ; these normal works themselves present deviations 

one from the other, equal in importance to many that 

have formed the basis of adverse judgments. If it be 

Hi objected against the Philebus that it wants dramatic 

>u> liveliness, and the flow of conversational development, 

m- the Protagoras may be charged with meagreness of 

K scientific content, with the entire failure of the theory 

is- of ideas, with the apparent barrenness of result in the 

whole enquiry, and the fatiguing prolixity of the dis- 

i cussion about the verse of Simonides. If the antinomic 

development of conceptions is peculiar to the Parmen- 

ides, and elaborate classifications to the Sophist and 

!i Politicus, the Timasus stands alone not only in its 

?Q .theories of the Creator and antemundane matter, the 

a mathematical construction of the elements, the arith- 

11 metical division, and distribution of the soul in space, 

$ but in its minute treatment of the whole subject of 

>ir Physics, to which 110 other dialogue makes an approach. 

The Laws are separated by a far greater interval from 
rt the Republic and from the other normal works than 

from the Politicus, and in an artistic point of view are 
H open to much graver criticism than the dialectical dia- 
r ogues; the later form of the Platonic philosophy, 
- ? (known to us through Aristotle, has a much more 
. j abstruse and formal character than the logical and me- 
: taphysical statements of the Laws. We cannot, indeed, 

1 ?o quite so far as Grote, 81 who sometimes speaks as if 
3 Plato in none of his works had the least regard to those 
, ilready written, and thought nothing of contradicting 

limself in the most glaring manner, even in one and 
81 Plato, i. 349, 360, 439, 559; ii. 89, 125 j iii. 165, 463, 521, 1. 


the same dialogue. But we ought not, on the otln 
hand, to forget that so exuberant a spirit as Plato s wi 
not limited for its expression to one particular form 
that the purpose of a dialogue might make it necessary 
to emphasize some points in it, and to pass slightly over 
others : that the nature of a subject or the readers for 
whom it was intended might require the style of a 
work to be more or less ornate, and the treatment t< 
be more or less popular ; that much that now seems 1 
us incomprehensible might be explained by special o< 
casions and personal references ; that we are not justifie< 
in expecting, even from a Plato, nothing but produc 
tions of equal finish and importance ; that as we migl 
have anticipated, even without the evidence establisl 
ing it, during the sixty years of Plato s literary activity 
both his philosophy and his artistic method uiiderwei 
a considerable change, and that 011 this account, if c 
no other, a standard derived from a portion of hi 
works cannot be applicable to them all without condi 
tioii or modification. These considerations certain!] 
render a decision concerning the genuineness 
Platonic writings, so far as this depends on inte] 
arguments, very difficult and complicated. It is IK 
enough simply to compare one dialogue with others, 
must enquire whether Plato, as we know him from 
.undoubted works, might be supposed to have produc 
the writing in question at a certain date and under cei 
tain circumstances. This of course cannot always 
answered with equal assurance, either affirmatively 
negatively. It is sometimes hard to distinguish wii 
perfect accuracy the work of a tolerably expert imitator 


from a less important work of the master ; what is un- 
J ! Platonic from what is unfinished, or the result of Plato s 
advanced age ; and therefore it is almost unavoidable 
that among the dialogues which can be vouched for as 
Platonic, or the reverse, others should creep in, with 
| respect to which a certain degree of probability is all 
we can attain. Those writings, however, on which our 
knowledge and estimate of the Platonic philosophy 
chiefly depend, can well maintain their ground in any 
impartial investigation ; while, on the other hand, our 
general view of Platonism would be very little affected 
by the genuineness or spuriousness of several of the 
lesser dialogues. 

It is impossible in this place to pursue this subject 
more particularly, or to discuss the reasons which may 
be urged for or against the Platonic origin of each 
work. But it seems necessary to point out those writ 
ings on which, as original sources of the Platonic philo 
sophy, our exposition of that philosophy will be founded, 
if even the critical grounds which determine the posi 
tion of these writings should not at once be explained, 
and receive only partial notice hereafter. 

Our collection of Platonic works contains, besides 
those dialogues which even in ancient times were ac 
knowledged to be spurious, 82 thirty-five dialogues, thir 
teen letters, 83 and a number of definitions, mostly relat 
ing to ethics. Among these there are a few the Prota- 
go^as, Phaedrus, Symposium, Gorgias, Theeetetus, and 
Republic the authenticity of which has never been 

Cf. p. 49, 10. manu has admitted cf. 57, 1C. 

83 On the six others which Her- 


questioned: the Phsedo also has been as little affected 
by the suspicion of Panaetius (if it really existed) 84 as 
the Timasus by Schelling s temporary doubt. 85 The 
genuineness of all these works may be considered as 
fully established. There are, besides, several other im 
portant dialogues the Philebus, Sophist, Politicus, 
Parmenides, and Cratylus, which, in spite of the re 
peated assaults upon them in modern days, 86 are certainly 
to be regarded as Platonic not only on the strength 
of the Aristotelian testimony which can be cited for 

84 Of. on this p. 49, 10. 
ss Schelling himself in fact re 
tracted his decision against this 
dialogue (Philos. u. Kel. WAV. 1, 
Abth. vi. 36) subsequently (AVW. 
Abth. vii. 5574) ; previously, how 
ever, it had been answered by 
Bockh (Stud. v. Daub. u. Creuzcr 
iii. 28). Its repetition by certain 
writers, as for instance AVeisse (z. 
Arist. Physik 274, 350, 471 ; Idee 
d. Gotth. 97) will nowadays lead 
no one into error. Among the 
express opponents of this view are 
Hermann, Plat. 699, and Steinhart, 
vi. 68 sq. 

8 Socher (PI. Schr. 258-294) 
was the first to reject as spurious 
the Sophist, Politicus, and Pnr- 
menides, but he met with Httle 
support: afterwards Suckow (Form. 
d. plat. Schr. 1855, p. 78 sq., 86 sq.) 
tried to establish the same charge 
\vit\\ regard to the Politicus, as 
did Ueberweg with regard to the 
Parmenides (Unters. plat. Schr. 
1861, p. 176 sq. ; Jahrb. f. Pliilol. 
Ixxxv. 1863, p. 97 sq.) ; Schaar- 
Kchmidt (Samml. d. plat. Schr. 
1866, p. 160 sq., and previously in 
the Khein. Mus. f. Philol. vol. 
xviii. 1 ; xix. 63 sq. ; xx. 321 sq.) 

extended it from the Parmenides 
to the Sophist, Politicus, Cratylus, 
and Philebus, and Ueberweg 
{Gesch. d. Phil. i. 3, edit. 1867, 
p. 116; Philos. Monatschr. 1869, 
p. 473 sq.) agreed with him with 
regard to all these dialogues more 
or less decidedly : afterwards, how 
ever (4th edit, of Gesch. d. Phil, 
p. 124 ; Zeitschr. f. Philos. Ivii. 84), 
he retracted his opinion so far as 
to recognise the Cratylus and 
Pbilebus, while the Sophist and 
Politicus he regarded as composed 
from notes of Plato s oral doctrines. 
The treatises in which Hayduck, 
Alberti, Deussen, Pcipers, Pilger 
defend as Platonic the Sophist 
(Hayduck also the Politicus and 
Cratylus), Georgii the Philebus, 
Alberti, Benfey, Lehrs, Suckow, 
Dreykorn the Cratylus, and 
Druschle, Neumann, Susemihl, 
Schramm the Parmenides respec 
tively, are mentioned by Ueberweg, 
Grundriss, i. 117, 4th edit.: for 
further details cf. Steinhart, PI. 
St. Ztschr. f. Philos. Iviii. 32 
sq., 193 sq. ; K. Planck on the 
Parmenides, Jahrb. f. Philol. cv. 
433 sq., 529 sq. 

PL A TO 8 ] Vlil TIXG8. 

of them, 81 but also 011 account of conclusive inter 
nal evidenced The position of the Laws will be the 
subject of a future discussion. There is all the less 
reason to mistrust the Critias, 89 since its contents, so far 
as they go, are entirely in harmony with the opening 
of the Timaeus. The Meno 90 is protected by a clear 
reference in the Phaodo, 91 as well as by Aristotle s quo- 
1 at ions; and though not one of Plato s most per 
fect dialogues, there is no good reason to suspect its 
authenticity. The Euthydemus is at any rate made use 
of by Eudemus, 92 and, though often attacked, 93 may be 

87 See p. 64 sq. 

88 We shall have an opportunity 
later on, in speaking of the doctrines 
contained in these works, to ex 
amine with more detail one or two 
of the points which are declared to 
be not Platonic : to notice all the 
particular objections of this kind 
is impossible in the limits of the 
present treatise. I will here merely 
point out how improbable it is, that 
works so valuable and written with 
so much dialectic skill, in spite of 
all the objections that we can make 
against them, could ever have been 
composed by any one in the Old 
Academy, which, as we know from 
Aristotle and other accounts, ac 
quitted itself but poorly in ab 
struse speculation. The points of 
view which are to be adopted in 
the more intimate criticism of the 
writings have been already dis 
cussed, p. 77 sq. 

89 As Socher 369 sq. ; Suckow 
158 sq. : against him Susemihl, 
Jahrb. f. Philol. Ixxi. 703 ; Ueber- 
weg, Plat. Schr. 186 sq. 

)0 Rejected by Ast, PI. L. und 
Schr. 394 sq., and Schaarsehmidt 
342 sq., doubted by Ueberweg in 

his Grundriss i. 123, 4th edit, 

}1 P. 72 E sq. Cebes here says 
that pro-existence and immortality 
follow also KO.T CKCLVOV rbv \6yov, 
. . . . 8v (Ti> (Socr.) e?w#as da/ma 
\eyeiv, that /m-dOycns is nothing but 
dvd/j.j>r)<Ti$ ; and he proves this not 
only in reference to former dis 
courses (ci>l ^v \6yy AcaXXtVry 6Vt, 
&c.), but by the fact worked out at 
length in the Meno, viz. that by 
means of properly arranged ques 
tions, we can elicit everything from 
a man, as is shown, for instance, in 
the case of geometrical figures. 
That there is a reference here to an 
earlier written treatise, which can 
only be the Meno, will be more 
obvious from a comparison of this 
brief allusion to something already 
known to the reader, with the 
prolix development of a further 
reason on p. 73 B sq., which is un 
doubtedly treated with such detail 
only because it has not occurred in 
any dialogue hitherto. 

92 Cf. p. 50, 13. Schaarschmidt, 
p. 341, has asserted that on the 
contrary the author of the Euthy 
demus made use of Aristotle s So 
phistical Fallacies. But he has not 



easily defended, if we bear in mind the proper design 
of this dialogue, 94 and sufficiently discriminate between 
what is seriously intended and what is satirical exag 
geration or irony : 95 it would be hard to deny to Plato 

proved this, for the coincidence of 
many of the Sophisms which _ he 
quotes is by no means conclusive. 
It would rather, on this supposition, 
he very extraordinary that the very 
fallacy which Aristotle attributes 
to Euthydemus does not occur _ in 
the Platonic Euthydemus (vide 
p. 71, 63). Should we, however, 
adopt this supposition, and at the 
same time assert that the Euthy 
demus was used in the Politicus 
(Schaarschmidt, 326), we cannot 
leave the question undecided as^to 
whether Aristotle had the Politi 
cus, or the author of the Politicus 
had the Aristotelian treatise, be 
fore him. (This, however, Schaar 
schmidt does, p. 237 f.) 

93 Ast, 414 sq. Schaarschmidt, 
326 sq. 

w The object of the Euthyde 
mus (on which Bonitz, Plat. Stud. 
11, 28 sq., ought especially to be 
consulted) is to represent the^ op 
position of Socratic and Sophistic 
views with regard to their^ value 
in the training and education of 
youth; and this opposition is 
brought before us here, not _by 
means of a scientific and detailed 
statement, but by the actual expo 
sition of the two parties themselves, 
in the form of a (narrated) drama, 
or rather of a satyric comedy. In 
the exposition of this subject Plato 
had to do, not merely with the 
views of the elder Sophists and 
their later developments, but also 
(as was found probable, Part i. p. 
255, 2 ; 256, 1 ; cf. 248, 4 ; 253, 1 ; 
254, 1) with Antisthenes,who seem 

ed to him in true Sophistic fashion 
to destroy all possibility of cogni 
tion, to confuse Socratic with Sophis 
tic views, and thereby spoil them, 
and with those refiners of language 
of the stamp of Isocrates (for that 
he is intended p. 305 B sq. is put 
beyond doubt after the proofs ^of 
Spengel, Abh. d. philos. philol. Kl. 
of the Acad. of Baireuth, vii. 764 
sq.), who did not know .how to dis 
tinguish between Socratic and So 
phistic views, and hoped to get lid 
of the rivalry of the true philoso 
phers if they brought the Sophists 
into discredit. In conformity with 
this object, the scientific refutation 
of the Sophistic views is not 
touched upon beyond a few allu 
sions, while the Socratic philosophy 
is expounded only in its simplest 
practical form nothing new _is 
propounded nor any speculative 
views enunciated, which might 
weaken the impression intended to 
be conveyed here, and in the eyes 
of an nnphilosophical reader might 
wear the appearance of Sophistry. 
If Plato voluntarily exercised this 
self-restraint at a time when he 
was already firmly in possession of 
his doctrine of Ideas (Euthyd. 300 
E eq.), he must certainly have had 
some special inducement ; and the 
present theory will sufficiently ex 
plain the fact, 

95 Supporters as well as oppo 
nents of the Euthydemus have not 
seldom failed to make this distinc 
tion. E.g., Schaarschmidt, p. 339, 
amongst many other censures of 
the artificiality of this dialogue 



on trivial grounds so charming 1 a sketch, abounding in 
comic power and humour. The Apology, which was 
known to Aristotle, 96 is as little really doubtful 97 as the 
Orito :/both are perfectly comprehensible if we regard 
the one as in the main a true statement of facts, 98 and 
the other as apparently a freer representation of the 
motives which deterred Socrates from flight. We may 
consider the Lysis, Charmides, and Laches, with all of 
which Aristotle seems to have been acquainted, to be 
youthful productions, written when Plato had not as 
yet essentially advanced beyond the Socratic stand 
point ; the Lesser Hippias, which is supported by very 

(which are not clear to me), takes 
offence because Ctesippus, 303 A., 
when the buffoonery of Pionyso- 
clorus lias reached its height, gives 
up further opposition, with the 
words d0tVra,ucu d^d^w TU> &v5pe, 
where, however, the irony is pal 
pable. Still more unintelligible, 
at least in my opinion, is the 
assertion on p. 334 that the men 
tion of Isocrates as the head of 
a school (Euthyd. 305 P>) is such a 
flagrant violation of chronology 
that we cannot attribute it to 
I lato. Jf this is an un-Platonic 
anachronism, what must Schaar- 
schmidt think of the anachronisms 
in the Symposium, the Gorgias, 
the Protagoras, and the Laws 
(cf. my treatise on the Anachron 
isms of the Plat. Dial., Abh. d. 
Berl. Akad. 1873. Hist.-Phil. 
Kl. 7<J sq.), which, however, he 
rightly accepts without scruple ? 
But the Euthydemus not only 
docs not mention Isocrates as the 
head of a school, but does not men 
tion him at all; it simply repre 
sents Socrates as drawing a scien 

tific character, in which the reader 
was to recognise Isocrates. This 
was just as possible and just as 
little an anachronism as Schaar- 
schmidt s supposed reference to 
Antisthenes in the Theaetetus. 
(Irote (Plato, vol. i. 559), without 
doubting the genuineness of the 
Euthydemus, remarks that Euthy- 
demm is treated as the represen 
tative of true philosophy and dia 
lectic, though this is in glaring 
contradiction with all that pre 
cedes. But Plato states nothing of 
the kind: he merely says certain 
people regard the Sophists (TOI)S 
dyU0t Ev6vdT)[j.oi>] as their rivals, and 
seek therefore (because they con 
found the Sophists with the true 
philosophers) to disparage the phi 

9(i Cf. p. 70, 54. 

97 As Ast, 474 sq. 402 sq. de 
cides with his usual confidence : on 
the other hand Schaarschmidt dose 
not give any decided opinion. 

93 Vide Part i. p. 103, 1 and 
Ueberweg, Plat. Schr. 237 sq. 


decisive Aristotelian evidence, as a first attempt^; and 
the Entity phro as an occasional writing," of a slight and 
hasty character. On the other hand, there are so 
many weighty internal arguments against the Menexe- 
nus, that notwithstanding the passages in Aristotle s 
Rhetoric, 100 it is difficult to believe this work Platonic r 
if Aristotle really meant to attest it, we might suppose 
that in this one instance he was deceived by a forgery 
ventured upon soon after Plato s death. 1 The Ion 
is probably, and the Greater Hippias and^ First 
Alcibiades are still more probably, spurious/ - 
remainder of the dialogues in our collection, the 
Second Alcibiades, the Theages, the Anterasti, Hippar- 

99 Following tho precedent of 
Hermann, Brandis and Steinhart 
(differing from my Plat. Stud. 150 
in reference to the Hippias Minor), 
I have endeavoured to prove this 
in the Ztschr.f. Alterthumsw., 1851, 
p. 250 sq. The same view is em 
braced by Susemihl and Munkin the 
works I have so frequently quoted, 
also by Stein, Gesch. d. Plat. i. 
80 sq., 135 sq., and Ueberweg 
(Gesch. d. Phil. 4th edit. i. 121 
sq.) : on the contrary, Ribbing, 
Genet. Darst. d. plat. Ideeul. ii. 
129 sq., 103 sq., decides that the 
Enthjphro, Laches, Charmides, 
and Lysis, are genuine, while 
the Hippias Minor he considers 
to be spurious. Schaarschmidt 
(Saraml. d. plat. Schr. 382 sq.) 
rejects the whole five dialogues. 
The latter is opposed by Bonitz 
in an exhaustive disquisition Zur 
Erkl. plat. Dialoge (Hermes v.), 
429 sq., specially with regard to 
the Laches. On the evidence of 
Aristotle vide p. 58, 31, 70; on 

tho Euthyphro, Part i. p. 1>1, 1. 

100 On which cf. 54. 

101 With this judgment as re 
gards the Menexenus, which I 
have already put forward in my 
Platonic Stud. 144 sq., following 
Ast, most of those who have 
treated the question, besides Grote r 
have since declared themselves in 
agreement ; the question is dis 
cussed with particular thorough 
ness by Steinhart (Plat. W.W. vi. 
372 sq.). I will refrain from en 
tering upon it here, especially as 
the Menexenus is in no way an 
independent source for Platonic 
philosophy; Plato s relation to 
Rhetoric can in no instance be 
determined from this dialogue, 
and, in fact, even if genuine, its 
scope can only be conceived 
according to the explanations we 
give of other dialogues. 

102 Cf. Ztschr. f. Alterthumsw.. 
1851, p. 256 sq. Nor do I find any 
thing in Munk to contradict this, 


elms, Minos, Clitophon, and Epinomis, have been 
rightly abandoned almost unanimously by all modern 
critics with the exception of Grote. It is impossible 
for a moment to allow any genuineness to the Defini 
tions; and Karsten 103 and Steinhart, 104 following the 
example of Meiners, Hermann, and others, have con 
clusively shown that the Letters, as has so often hap 
pened, were foisted upon their reputed author at various 

It has indeed been questioned whether even the un 
doubted works of Plato present a true picture of his 
system. According to some, partly to increase his own 
importance, partly as a precautionary measure, Plato 
designedly concealed in his writings the real sense and 
connection of his doctrines, and only disclosed this in 
secret to his more confidential pupils. 105 This notion 
has been, however, since Schleiermacher 10G justly and 
almost universally abandoned. 107 It can be supported 

(C Commentatio. Critica de Pla- 10tJ Plato s "Werke, 1, 1, 11 sq. ; 

lonis qure feruntur epistolis. Utr. cf. Ritter, ii. 178 sq., and Socher 

1<%4. PI. Schr. 392 sq. 

M PI. Werke, viii. 279 sq. PI. wr o ne O nts j ast supporters is 
L., 9 sq. A review of the earlier Weisse, in the notes to his trans- 
literature is given by the first of lation of Aristotle s Physics (pp. 
these passages, and by Karsten in 271 sq. ; 313, 329 sq. ; 403 sqq. ; 
tin- Introduction. 437 sq. ; 445 sq. ; 471 sq.), and do 
This is the general opinion Anima, pp. 123-143. Hermann 
of earlier scholars. We may re- (Ueber Plato s Schrifstell Motive, 
ier once for all to Brucker, 1, 659 Ges. Abh. 281 sq.) comes rather 
sq. f who gives a thorough and close to it when he asserts that 
sensible investigation of the we must not look for the nucleus 
reasons fur this concealment and of Plato s doctrine in his writings, 
the artifices employed ; and Tenne- and that his literary activity never 
mann, System d. Plat, 1, 128 sq. aimed at establishing and develop- 
2i ,4, 111, 126, 129. Ast, Plat, ing an organic system of philo- 
Leb. n. Schr. 511, gives further sophy. Hermann would hardly 
.details. 8 ay that Plato ignored or gave up 



neither on Platonic nor Aristotelian evidence: 108 the 
assertions of later writers who transferred their concep- 

all philosophic scope in his writings. 
But, according to his view, the 
writings only contain incidental 
hints of the real principles of 
Plato s system, the supra-sensuous 
doctrine of ideas. The application 
of the principles to questions and 
circumstances of the phenomenal 
world is given in the writings ; the 
enunciation of the principles them 
selves was reserved for oral dis 
course. If, however, the inquiries 
of the Theastetus on the conception 
of knowledge, the discussions of 
the Sophist. Parmenides, Philebus, 
Symposium, Phsedo, Republic, and 
Timaeus on the nature of concep 
tions, the intended exposition in 
the Philosopher, and, in fact, all 
the passages from which we are 
now able to foim BO complete a 
representation of the doctrine of 
Ideas if these were not meant to 
expound and establish the prin 
ciples of the system, it becomes 
difficult to account for them. They 
may sometimes exhibit a connection 
with alien questions; but it would 
argue little acquaintance with 
Plato s artistic method to con 
clude from this that they were 
introduced only incidentally. And 
Plato v. Phrcdrus, 274 B sqq. 
makes no division between the 
principles and their application. 
Indeed, it would have been rather 
preposterous to communicate the 
application of philosophic prin 
ciples, by means of his writings, 
to all the world, even beyond the 
limits of his school, while he with 
held the principles themselves, 
without which the application 
could not fail to be misunderstood. 
l T eber\veg (Unters. plat. Schr. G5) 

brings forward in support of Her 
mann the fact that the Timoeus 
and other writings give merely 
brief references to many points of 
essential importance. But he adds 
that it is the doctrine of the 
elements of the ideal world and 
of the soul that is dismissed with 
these passing notices, rather than 
the doctrine of ideas. And how do 
we know that at the time these 
treatises were written (there can be 
no question here, it must be remem 
bered, of the Laws), the former 
doctrine had received its full de 
velopment? Hermann eventually 
finds himself obliged to qualify 
considerably ; and, in fact, his for 
mer assertions almost disappear. 
He allows, p. 298, that the Sophist 
and Parmenides, for instance, are 
concerned with philosophic prin 
ciples ; but he would account for 
this by referring them to an earlier 
period than the Phsedrus. This may 
be disputed ; and, at any rate, is 
in itself no justification for saying 
that philosophic principles are only 
incidentally referred to in Plato s 
writings. On page 300 he makes 
a further concession : the writings 
of the Middle Period the Sophist, 
&c. are directly motived by 
scientific instruction, and seek to 
expound systematically the philo 
sopher s fundamental opinions. 
Finally, he contents himself with 
saying of the later writings, We 
cannot expect to find his highest 
principles enunciated here in broad 
unmistakable terms (no intelli 
gent student would have any such 
expectations) ; such enunciations 
were reserved for his oral dis 
courses (which seems highly im- 



tions of the Pythagorean mystical doctrine to Plato, 109 
consequently prove nothing. ^ It is besides utterly in- 
credible in itself that a philosopher like Plato should 
have spent a long life in literary labours, designed not 

probable). But, continues Her- 
maim, these principles arc so 
stamped upon the dialogues, that 
none with eyes to sec can miss any 
point of real importance ; and the 
dialogues may be used as trust 
worthy authorities for his philo 
sophic system. In these words 
we have everything we could wish 
for granted. 

> 8 The PL-edrus, 274 B sqrj., 
cannot be quoted in support. Plato 
is only showing there that the 
thing written is of no worth in 
itself, but only in so far as it helps 
recollection of the thing spoken. 
He does not say that the content 
of what is orally delivered should 
not be written down, but con 
versely, that that only should be 
written which has passed in per 
sonal intercourse. The Timseus, 
2H ( , is not more relevant ; for, 
granted the impossibility of dis 
cussing anything except with per- 

i sons of special knowledge, it does 
not follow that such discussion 
may not be in written works. 
Written works may be designed 
for specialists, and composed so 
that only they can understand 
them. J n ftp. J lat. vii. 341 15 sq. ; 
11, :H2 D sq., we iind for the first 

; time something of the alleged 
secretiveness, in the assertion 
that no true philosopher entrusts 
his real thoughts to writing. J5ut 
this is only one more proof of the 
spuriousness of the letters, and 

f there is a great deal required to 

I prove that the seventh letter (with 

Herm. loc. cit.) is just as authentic 
as anything that Plato tells us 
about Socrates. As to Aristotle s 
frequent quotations from Plato s 
oral discourses (vide subter, and 
p. 46, 5), several questions pre 
sent themselves. First: How far 
do his accounts vary from the 
contents of the Platonic writings? 
Secondly : Are these variations to 
be ascribed to Plato himself, or to 
our informant? And, thirdly: May 
they not be explained by sup 
posing a real change in Plato s 
way of thought or teaching? AVe 
shall discuss these points further 

109 E.g., tlio Platonic letters just 
quoted, which betray themselves at 
once by their clumsy exaggerations. 
The second letter, by the way, 
says that the Platonic writings 
were the work of Socrates in 
his youth. Another instance is 
Xumenius apud Kuscbium, Pre- 
paratio Kvangelica, xiv. 5, 7 (cf. 
xiii. 5), who says that Plato wrote 
in a purposely obscure style, as a 
measure of precaution ; Siinpl. De 
Anim. 7, loc. cit. (of Plato and his 
pupils) ; iv a.iroppr)Tois ^vots rots 
allots 7rapa5i66>Tes TT]V <f>i\offO(pia.v 
Trpds TOVS tiXXovs dia TUV fj.adT)/j.a.TiKiitn> 
avTrjv tiredeiKvvi TO dfo/xdrwi j cf. 
Cicero De Universo, 2, who sup 
poses Plato to say (in the Timseus, 
28 c.), that it is not safe to speak 
openly of the Deity ; and .losephus 
contra Apionem, 11, 31, cf. Krischc 
Forschungen, 183 sq. 


to impart his views, but to hide them : a purpose far 
more effectually and simply carried oat by silence. 
Further he himself assigns the same content to tha 
written as to the spoken word, when he makes the aim 
of the one to be the reminding us of the other. 110 And 
Aristotle could not have been aware of any essential 
difference between Plato s oral and written teaching, 
otherwise he would not have based his own exposition- 
and criticism equally on both, without ever drawing 
attention to the fact that the true sense of the writings 
could only be determined by the spoken comments 
of their author. Still less would he have taken the 
mythical or half mythical portions in a literal manner, 
only possible to one who had never conceived the idea 
of a secret doctrine pervading them. 111 Nor can this 
theory be brought into connection with Plato s habit 
of indirectly hinting at his opinion and gradually 
arriving at it, instead of distinctly stating it when 
formed; with his occasional pursuit, in pure caprice 
as it might seem, of accidental digressions ; with the 
confessions of ignorance or the doubting questions that, 
instead of a fixed unequivocal decision, conclude maiir 
of the dialogues ; or with the method that in particular 
cases invests philosophic thoughts with the many- 
coloured veil of the mythus. All this, it is true, is 
found in Plato ; and the reasons for such a method wil 
hereafter disclose themselves. Meanwhile the form of 
the dialogues will offer no insuperable hindrance tc 
their comprehension by anyone who has penetrated) 

110 Pluedrus, 276 D; cf. preceding ni Cf. on this my IMat. Stud p 
note. 201 sq. 


tlieir aim and plan, and learned to consider each in the 
light of the whole, and as explicable only in its relation 
to others ; nor again is there anything in this form to 
weaken the belief 112 that in the writings of Plato we 
have trustworthy records of his philosophy. If, lastly, 
we find in these writings, side by side with philosophic 
i enquiry, a considerable space allotted to historical de 
scription and dramatic imagery, it is yet easy in some 
\ cases to separate these elements, in others to recognise 
. the philosophic kernel which they themselves contain. 

112 Cf. also Hegel, Gesch. d. Phil. II. 157 sq., 161 sq. 




OUR historical comprehension of the Platonic philoso 
phy would be greatly facilitated did we possess more 
accurate knowledge of the dates of the several works, 
and the circumstances which influenced or gave rise to 
them. We should not only then understand much 
that now in particular dialogues either escapes our 
notice or remains a mystery, and be better informed 
as to their design and treatment, but we should also 
be in a position to judge with greater certainty of the 
mutual relations of the several works, and to follow 
step by step the development of Plato s system, so far 
as it is reflected in his writings. Unfortunately, how-! 
ever, we have not the means of accomplishing all this/ 
The scanty notices of ancient authors as to the datej 
and purpose of certain works are sometimes so imtrust-1 
worthy that we cannot at all depend upon them, 1 and] 

i This holds good of the assertion Plat. 3, that the Phsedrus was 

(Diog. iii. 35, brought in by fad), Plato s first written treatise (Cicero, 

that Socrates bad heard the Lysis however, Orat. 13, 42 places it 

read, and Aristotle (ib. 37, ace. to later) ; of the statement oi Athe- 

Phavorinus) had heard the Phaedo naeus (xi. 505 K), that Gorgitt 

(presumably at its first publica- outlived the appearance of the; 

lion); of the supposition in Diog. dialogue named alter him of del-; 

iii. 38 (cf. ibid. 62), Olympiod. v. lius (N. A. xiv. 3, 3) that Xeno-i 


ometimes tell us nothing more than we might our- 

fives have derived from the works. 2 The information 

o be obtained from these as to their interconnection, 

lesign, and time of composition is necessarily of a 

-cry limited character. For as they profess to be 

ecords of Socratic dialogues, we find indeed in many 

f them the date and occasion of the alleged conversa- 

ion either directly or indirectly given ; but as to the 

imo when they themselves were composed they are 

,, ilent, and we can only in a few cases discover from 

. he setting of a dialogue or from one of those ana- 

, ihronisms which Plato allowed himself with so much 

l noetic license, the earliest date to which it can be 

issigned, and with some probability that also of its 

fiomposition. 3 It is likewise a consequence of their 

lion composed his Cyropredia in 

pposition to the first two books of 

he Republic, and of Plutarch (Sol. 

2), that Plato s death prevented 
: he completion of the Critias. Cf. 
IJebcrweg, Plat, Schr. 210 sq. 

- K.g. Arist. Polit. ii. 6, beginn. 
;.nd 1265, a. b. remarks that the 

>aws were composed later than the 
1 lepublic, and that Plato wished to 
j lescribe in them a state approach- 
ng nearer to actually existing 
I tates ; but little by little it was 

trough t round again to the ideal 

tatc of the Republic. 

s It appears from the beginning 
i f the Thesetetus that this dialogue 
Is not earlier than the campaign 

gainst Corinth, in which Theaete- 
< us took part ; but what campaign 
I his was we do not learn (vide p. 
| 8, 31). The Mono (ace. to p. 90, 

V) and the Symposium (ace. to 

93, T>) cannot have been composed 

before B.C. 395 and 385 respec 
tively (for it is very improbable 
that the passage of the Mono can 
refer, as Susemihl believes, Jahrb. 
f. Philol. Ixxvii. 854, not to the 
well-known event mentioned in 
Xen. Hell. iii. 5, but to some inci 
dent which has remained unknown 
to us ; we cannot suppose that this 
incident, which clearly excited so 
much attention, could have been 
twice repeated in the course of a 
few years ; and, moreover, before 
the successful attack of Agesilaus, 
Persian politics had no occasion to 
make such sacrifices in order to gain 
the goodwill of a Thcban party- 
leader; both dialogues, however, 
seem to be not far distant from 
these dates. As to the date of the 
Mcnexenus, if it is really Platonic, 
it must have been written after the 
Peace of Antalcidas, and cannot by 
any means be placed before that 


dramatic form, that the conversation should often 
develope itself from apparently accidental circum 
stances, without any definite theme being proposed; 
and even where there is such a theme, we still cannot 
be sure that it is the sole, or even the ultimate, end of 
the dialogue the end by which we are to estimate its 
relations to other works ; for the reply to this main 
question is often interwoven with further enquiries of 
such importance and scope that it is impossible to 
regard them as merely subsidiary to the solution of 
the more limited problem at first proposed. 4 The final 
result also seems not unfrequently to be purely nega 
tive, consisting in the failure of all attempts to answer 
some query; 5 and though we cannot with Grote* 
conclude from this that Plato s design never extended 
beyond the refutation of every dogmatic assertion, and 
the exposition of that elenclitic method by which 

time the Parmenides, 126, B sq., dialogue is earlier than Plato s 

pre-supposes that Plato s half- first Sicilian visit. It no more fol- 

brother Pyrilampeg, and consc- lows Irom Bk. i. 330 A that the 

quently Plato himself, were no Ion- first hook at least was written be- 

-er very young when this dialogue fore the execution of Ismemas. B.C. 

was written. ^The Apology, Crito, 382 (Ueberweg, plat. Schr. 2211 

and Phsedo, from what is implied in than that it was written before the 

their contents, cannot come before death of Perdiccas and Xerxes, 

the death of Socrates, nor the Eu- Cf. on the foregoing points I eber- 

thyphro, Thesetetus, Meno (accord- weg, loc. cit. 217-265. 

ing to 94 E), Gorgias (521 C), and 4 E.g. (besides the Sophist, Poll- 

Politicus (299 B) before the accu- ticus, and Philebus), in the llepub- 

sation of Socrates ; how much later lie, the working out of which goes 

they are (except in the case of the far beyond the problem propounded 

Meno) cannot be determined by Bk. ii. 367 E. 

any historical data contained in the 5 Cf. Prot. 361 A; Charm. 175 

dialogues themselves. As regards A sq. ; Lach. 199 E; Lys. 223 B; 

the Eepublic, even if there were no Hipp. Min. 376 C ; Meno, 100 B; 

other grounds for the supposition, Theaet. 210 A sqq. ; Farm. 166 C. 

Bk. ix 577 A sq. makes it to a G Plato i. 246, 269 sq. ; 292,515; 

certain degree probable that this ii. 278, 387 sq. ; 500, 550 sq. 


fe Socrates confounded the fancied knowledge of his in- 
: U-rlocutors; and that his criticism and dialectics 
neither rest on any positive conviction, nor even in 
directly lead to any; 7 yet the positive element, that 
which is wanted to complete the critical discussions, is 
it: not always so evident as to be unmistakable. Again, 
a: if a dialogue relates to phenomena of the post-Socratic 
period, and perhaps is partly occasioned by them, Plato 
can only in the rarest instance 8 allow his Socrates 
plainly to speak of these phenomena; he is therefore 
restricted to hints, which were probably sufficiently 
comprehensible to the majority of his first readers, but 
may easily be overlooked or misinterpreted by us. <J 
The same holds good with regard to the mutual inter- 

7 5 I s of i 1 t . s , elf ^avcely credi- many objections which Plato main- 

that a philosopher who has tains against others might also be 

created such a perfect system as maintained against himself, this is 

Halo should have composed a simply a phenomenon which occurs 

whole series of writings, criticising in the case of Aristotle and many 

ijien views, without at the same others as well, because it is -enc 

time wishing to do anything to- rally easier to criticise than to im- 

wards the establishment of his own; prove to expose difficulties than 

irote s assertion (i. 260, 292, ii. to solve them ; it does not, how- 

3 sq.) that the affirmative and ever, follow that Plato in his 

negative currents of his speculation dialectical discussions aimed at no 

ire throughout independent of one positive result 
mother, each of them having its Plmlr. 278 E, about Isocrates 

)wn channel, and that in his posi- in the beginning of the Theretetni 

ive theories he pays as little re- about Theaetetus. 
.jard as Socrates to difficulties and 9 Part i. 214 sq We found it 

Contradictions, which he had de- probable that in the Sophist he rc- 

jeloped m the details of polemical ferred to the Megarians, Part i 

iMCUsaions, is the natural conse- 248, 4, 252 sqq. ; in the ThesetctuV 

luence ot his presuppositions, but Sophist, Euthydemus to Vnti s- 

s m contradiction to all psycho- thenes, Part i. 303, 1 in the Phi 

Jical probability. Consideration lebus to Aristippus, p. 84 <)4- in 

how.s that many scruples thrown the Euthydemus to Isocrates. Many 

it in one dialogue receive in such allusions may occur in the 

other the solution which Plato s Platonic writings without beino- 

>omt of view admits; and if remarked, 
his does not always happen, if 



dependence of the dialogues. There cannot be a direct 
allusion in one dialogue to another, unless the same 
persons appear in both; lu where this is not the case, 
the only way in which the later dialogue can point to 
the earlier is by shortly summing up the results of the 
former discussions, with the remark that the matter 
has been already considered. 11 But here again it is 
easy to make mistakes to overlook the relation be 
tween two dialogues, or to imagine one that does not 
exist ; and even when there is no doubt of such inter 
dependence, the question may still sometimes arise 
which of the writings is the earlier and which th 
later. There are thus many difficulties, not only iu 
the way of a decision respecting the motive, aim, a: 
plan of the several dialogues, 12 but even of an enqui 
into their order, date, and interdependence. Are th 
so related to each other as to form one, or perha 
more than one, connected series, or ought we to rega 
them merely as isolated productions, in which Pla 
according as occasion or inclination prompted hi 
disclosed now one and now another fragment of 1 
system, and brought his theories of life and of the 
world to bear on various subjects, sometimes even oi| 
those which had no direct reference to his philosophy?* 

10 E K in the Theretetus, Sophist Timseus (51 B sq.), and also in th 

and Politico, the .Republic, Ti- Symposium (202 A) to the Men 

mams and Critias. (^ so,) and the Theartjtos 200 1 

" In this way in all probability sq.), in the Laws (v. 730 13 sq. 

he refers in the Phrcdo to the Meno also iv. 713 E ; cf. Repub. v 47, 

(vide p. 83, 91), in the Philebus to C), to the Republic and (iv. 713 1| 

the Parmenides (cf. 70, 56), in the sq.) to the Ppliticus (vide 70, 53), 
Republic, vi. 505 B, to the Phile- l - A question on which 1 canno 

lm* x. 611 A sq., to the Phsedo enter here. 

(vide p 532, 2nd edit.), vi. 50, 6 C, 13 The latter is the view I 

to the Meno (97 A, D sq.), in the Sochcr, p. 43 sq., and essenti 


Supposing the former alternative to be the case, is 
tlif connection of the writings the result of calculation 
and design ? Or did it evolve itself naturally in tho 
course of the author s life and mental development? 
Or were all these causes simultaneously at work, so 
that the origin and sequence of the Platonic writings 
should be ascribed partly to the philosopher s mental 
growth, partly to literary and artistic design, and partly 
also to accidental occasions? What influence again 
had each of these moments generally and particularly ? 
And how, lastly, on either of the above presuppositions, 
arc we to decide on the date and succession of tho 
sc\ oral works ? On all these points, as is well known, 
opinions differ widely. Many of the ancient gramma 
rians and commentators divided the works of Plato into 
certain groups and classes, 34 according to the affinity of 

of Ast, p. 38 sqq., not to mention and peirastic ; under that of ago- 
the older scholars, such as Tenne- nistic the endeictic and anatreptic 
mann, Plat. Phil. i. 137, 264. writings. Diogenes makes the 
14 We get a division according same primary division into didac- 
to form in Diog. iii. 49 sq., and tic and zetetic dialogues, but pro- 
Prolog. 17 ; the divisions are into ceeds to a triple subdivision, of tho 
dramatic, narrative, and mixed zetetic into physical, ethical (in- 
dialogues. Diog. himself, loc. cit., eluding political), and logical (ac- 
approves of a division according to cording to the scheme of StSacr/coXta, 
matter ; we have one like this given irpais, dirdSei^is), and of the didac- 
by Albinus, Isagoge in Plat. dial, tic into gymnastic (peirastic and 
c. 3, G. Albinus divides thedidac- maieutic), elenchtic, and agonistic 
tic from the zetetic dialogues (vfi-rj- (anatreptic). Aristophanes too in 
yrjTLKol from ^tjT-rjTiKoV), and sub- his determination of the trilogies, 
divides the didactic into theoretic into which he divided a part of the 
and practical ; the zetetic into Platonic dialogues (vide p. 51, 14), 
gymnastic and agonistic. These in correspondence with the con- 
again have further subdivisions ; nection which Plato himself has 
the theoretic dialogues into physi- made between certain of them 
cal and logical, the practical ilia- (Aristophanes first trilogy is that 
logues into ethical and political, of the Kepublic, and this seems to 
Under the head of gymnastic dia- have been the standard which 
logues come the so-called maieutic occasioned his whole arrangement), 



their form or contents; and by this they apparently 
meant that they were following, at any rate partially, 
the order observed by Plato himself. 15 Their assump 
tions are, however, so arbitrary ; Platonic doctrines 
are grouped from such un-Platoiiic points of view 
the spirit and deeper reference of individual works 
are so little understood the spurious is so greatly in 
termingled with the genuine, that this first attempt to 
determine the order of the writings was rather deter- 

seems to have been directed partly 
by the relation of the contents of 
the dialogues, partly by referring 
to the supposed time of publication. 
The former, on the other hand, is 
the only starting point for Thra- 
syllus arrangement. This gram 
marian (particulars about whom 
are given Part iii. a. 542, 3, 2nd 
edit., and in the authorities quoted 
there) divides the dialogues (ace. to 
Diog. iii. 56 sqq., Albin. Isag. 4) 
in one respect just as Diogenes, 
into physical, logical, ethical, poli 
tical, maieutic, peirastic, endeictic, 
anatreptic. This division, and also 
the double titles of certain dialogues, 
taken from their contents (<baiwi> 
J) TTfpl ^vxys and so forth), he either 
borrowed from some one else or 
was the first to introduce ; but he 
further divides the whole of the 
Platonic writings into the nine fol 
lowing tetralogies : (1) Euthy- 
phro, Apology, Crito, Phtedo ; (2) 
Cratylus, Theaetetus, Sophist, Poli- 
ticus ; (3) Parmenides, Philebus, 
Symposium, Phrcdrus ; (4) the two 
Alcibiades, Hipparchus, Anterastrc, 
(5) Theages, Charmides, Laches, 
Lysis ; (6) Euthydemus, Protagoras, 
Gorgias, Meno ; (7) the two Hip- 
pise, Ion, Menexenus ; (8) Clito- 

phon, Republic, Timaeus, Critias ; 
(9) Minos, Laws, Epinomis, Let 
ters. The standard in this com 
bination is unmistakably the con 
tents of the writings ; only in the 
first tetralogy the philosophical 
aims are not so much considered 
as the reference to the fate of 
Socrates personally. The existence 
of a series of different arrangements 
of the Platonic writings is proved 
(as Nietzsche remarks, Beitr. z. 
Quellenkunde d. Diog. Laert., 
Basel, 1870, 13 sq.) by the fact 
that Diog. iii. 62 mentions no less 
than nine dialogues, which were 
placed by different writers at the 
beginning of their catalogues, 
among them the Republic and 
Euthyphro, with which Aristo 
phanes and Thrasyllus had com 
menced their lists respectively. 

15 According to Diogenes, Thra 
syllus maintained that Plato him 
self published the dialogues in 
tetralogies. The much-debated 
question as to the order in which 
they should be read is of itself, 
strictly speaking, a presumption 
that they were arranged on a defi 
nite plan. Cf. Diog. 62, Albin. 
4 sqq. 


rent than encouraging ; 1G and the same judgment must 
be passed on those modern attempts which followed in 
the track of Thrasyllus and Albinus. 17 Even Temie- 
rnamrs enquiries into the chronological order of the 
Platonic works, 18 useful as they were in their time, are 
generally superficial in their neglect of any fixed and 
decisive point of view. The notion of an arrangement 
based upon the internal connection of the dialogues 
was first fully and satisfactorily carried out in Schleier- 
macher s brilliant work. According to this author, 19 
Plato, as he certainly considered written instruction 
inferior to spoken, 20 and yet continued writing to such 
an extent even in old age, must have manifestly sought 
to make his writings resemble conversation as much as 
possible. Now the weak point of written teaching, as 
he himself intimates, is this : that it must always re 
main uncertain whether the reader has really appre 
hended the thought of the writer; and that no 
opportunity for defence against objections, or for the 
removal of misunderstandings. In order, as far as 
might be, to remedy these defects, Plato in his writings 
must have made it a rule so to conduct and plan every 
enquiry that the reader should be driven either to the 
origination of the required thought, or to the distinct 
consciousness of having missed it ; and as the plan of 

Against recent defenders of 24 sq. ; Ast, 49 sq. ; Hermann, 562. 
the Ihrasyllic tetralogies, cf. Herm. 18 Syst. d. plat. Phil. 1, 115 sqq 

de Ihrasyllo, Ind. lect. Gott. He and his followers up to Her- 

185. 13 sq. niann are mentione.l by Ueberwef 

FE.g. Serranus, Petit, Syden- Unters. d. plat, Schr. 7-111 
ham, Eberhard, and Geddes. With 19 Loc. cit. p. 17 sqq 
regard to these, it will suffice to re- 2 Phajtlr. 274 B sqq. Cf. Pro- 

ferto Schleiennacher, PI. W. 1, 1, tagoras, 329 A. 




each separate dialogue clearly shows this design, there 
arises a natural sequence and a necessary mutual refe 
rence in the dialogues collectively. Plato could make 
no advance in any dialogue unless he presumed a cer 
tain effect to have been produced by its predecessor ; 
consequently that which formed the conclusion of one 
must be presupposed as the basis and commencement ^ 
of another. And as he regarded the various philoso 
phical sciences, not as many and separate, but as es 
sentially united and indivisible, there would result 
from this not many parallel independent orders of Pla 
tonic dialogues, but one all-embracing order. In this 
order, Schleiermacher proceeds to distinguish three divi 
sions: 21 the elementary, the indirectly enquiring, and 
the expository or constructive dialogues. He does not 
maintain that the chronological succession of the works; 
must necessarily and minutely correspond with this 
internal relation, nor that occasionally from some acci 
dental reason that which came earlier in order of 
thought may not have appeared later in order of timejJ 
He claims only that his order should coincide in tli 
main with the chronological order. 22 He allows thai 
secondary works of comparatively less importance arc 
intermingled with the principal dialogues, and ht 
would also make room for those occasional writing! 
which do not lie at all within the sphere of philo 
sophy. 23 These concessions, however, do not affect hit 
general canon. 24 

21 Loc. cit. p. 44 sqq. first class of Plato s writings, tfo 

22 Loc. cit. p. 27 sq. Phcedrus, Protagoras, and Parme 

23 38 S q. nides as chief works ; the Ljsil 
2 * Scbleiermacher reckons, in the Laches, Charmides, and Euthyphr 


Ast agrees with Schleiermaclier in distinguishing 
three classes of dialogues ; 25 but differs from him con 
siderably in his principle of classification, in his dis 
tribution of particular dialogues among the three 
classes, and in his judgment of their authenticity. 
Schleiermacher is still more decidedly opposed by 
Socher 26 and Stallbaum 27 in their attempt at a chro- 
r nological order, 23 but neither of these writers fully 

as secondary works; the Apology 
and Crito as occasional pieces of 
essentially historical import, and 
other minor dialogues as probably 
spurious. In the second class he 
puts the Gorgias and Theaetetus, 
with the Mono as an appanage, and 
at a further interval the Euthyde- 
mus and Cratylus ; then come the 
Sophist, Politicus, Symposium, 
Phaedo, and Philebns. Some faw 
dialogues are passed over as spu 
rious, or at least doubtful. . His 
third class contains the Republic, 
Timacus, and Critias ; and the 
Laws, again as an appanage. 

- S icr.itic, in which the poetic 
and dramatic clement predomi 
nates ; e.g. the Protagoras, Plue- 
drus, Gorgias, and Phaxlo ; dialec 
tic or Megarian, in which the poetic 
element is in the background 
(Theaetetus, .Sophist, Politicly, Par- 
menides, Cratylus) ; purely scien 
tific, or Socratic-Platonic, in which 
the poetic and dialectic elements 
interpenetrate reciprocally (Phile- 
bus, Symposium, Republic, Timajus, 
Critias\ All the rest he regards 
as spurious. Cf. the criticisms of 
Bramlis, 1, a. 163. 

| Loc. cit. p. 41 sqq., c. 

27 De Platonis vita, ingenio et 
scriptis (Dialogi selecti, 1827, 
Tom. i. 2 A; Opera, 1833, Tom. 

i.) developed, and in some points 
modified, in the Introductions to 
single dialogues, and in numerous 

28 Socher assumes four periods in 
his writings. 1. Up to Socrates 
accusation and death : comprising 
the Theages, Laches, Hippias Mi 
nor, 1st Alcibiades, De Virtute, 
Mono, Cratylus, Euthyphro, Apo 
logia, Crito, Phsedo. 2. Up to the 
establishment of the school in the 
Academy : comprising the Ion, 
Euthydemus, Hippias Major, Pro 
tagoras, Theaetetus, Gorgias, Phi- 
lebus. 3. From that time to 
about the 55th or 00th }"car of 
Plato s life, to which belong the 
Phaodrns, Menexenus, Symposium, 
Republic, and Timacus. 4. The 
period of old age, comprising the 
LAW*. Stallbaum makes three 
periods : one, up to the time just 
after Socrates death, including 
the Lysis, two Hippia?, Charmides, 
Laches. Euthydemus, Cratylus, 
1st Alcibiades, Mcno, Protagoras, 
Euthyphro, Ion, Apology, Crito, 
Gorgias. Of these he dates the 
Charmides about B.C. 405, and 
the Laches soon after (Plat. Opp. 
v. i. 1834, p. 86, vi. 2, 1836, p. 
142) ; the Euthydemus 403 (loc. 
cit. vi. 1, 63 sqq.) 01. 94, 1; 
Cratylus, Olympiad 94, ?, (loc. 


established this order, or reduced it to a fixed prin 
ciple. Hermann was the first to controvert the conclu 
sions of Schleiermacher by a new theory, founded on a 
definite view of the origin of the Platonic writings; 29 
for his predecessor Herbart, while seeking to prove the 
gradual transformation of the doctrine of ideas by the 
help of the dialogues, had not applied this point of 
view to our collection as a whole. Like Schleierma 
cher, Hermann is convinced that the Platonic writings, 
collectively, represent a living, organic development ; 
but he seeks the cause of this phenomenon, not in 
any design or calculation on the part of their author, 
but in the growth of his mind. They are not, in his 
opinion, a mere exposition of philosophic development 
for others, but a direct consequence of Plato s indi 
vidual development, Plato, he thinks, ripened only 

cit v 2 26); Alcibiades, at Therct. 12 sqq., ami Parm. 290 

the lime when An.ytus began his sq., Stallbaum bad dated them two 

proceedings against Socrates (loc. years later) ; soon after tbesetbe 

cit. vi. if 187); Mono, Olympiad Pbsedrus, followed by the Syrf 

04 3 (loc. cit vi. 2, 20); Prota- posium, a little , later than B.C. 

goras, Olympiad 94,3 or 4 (Dial. 385 (Dial. Sel. iv . 1, . sqq.); 

Sel. 11, 2, 16; Opp. vi. 2, 142); then the Pluedo, < Philebus, and 

Euthvphro, Olympiad 95, l = u.c. Republic, Olympiads 99-100. 

399, at the beginning of the prose- (Dial. Sel. in. 1, Ixn. sq.). Ihe 

cution (loc. cit ) ; Ion same period third period is between the second 

(loc cit iv 2, 289), and the Sicilian journey and Plato s death, 

remaining three, Olympiad 95, 1, including the Laws and the I 

soon after Socrates death (Dial, tias ; the latter begun before the 

Sel. 11, 1, 24). His second period Laws, but finished alter, 

rantres between the and second Opp. vii. 377.) 

Sicilian journey, and comprises - 9 Loc. cit.: cf. especially o4b]., 

the Theietetos, Sophist, Politic, 384 sq., 489 sqq. < 

Parmenides, all four written !0 In the treatise DC \ lat . Svs- 

letwcen B.C. 399 and 388, and tematis fundamento, 1808 (WJcj 

published immediately afterwards xii. 61 sqq.), but especially in the 

(cf. Kep. pp. 28-45 ; previously, appendix (ibid. 88 sq. : cf. Leber- 

in his treatise De Arg. ct Art. weg, loc. cit. 38 sq.) 


gradually, and under the influences of his time ; the 
stadia along his course are marked by the different 
classes of his writings. The two events of greatest 
consequence in his mental history are, according to 
Hermann, the death of Socrates, with its immediate 
result, Plato s withdrawal to Megara ; and his own first 
journey, which acquainted him with the Pythagorean 
doctrine. 31 While these indicate the chief periods of 
his intellectual life and literary activity, they also fur 
nish us with three classes of dialogues the Socratic 
or elementary; the dialectic or mediatising; the ex 
pository or constructive. The dialogues of the first 
class, written in part before the death of Socrates, in 
part immediately after, have a fragmentary, more ex 
clusively elenchtic and protreptic character, confine 
themselves almost entirely to the Socratic manner, 
and as yet go no deeper into the fundamental ques 
tions of philosophy. The second class is distinguished 
by greater dryness, less liveliness, less carefulness of 
form, and by that searching criticism (sometimes ap 
proving, sometimes polemical) of the Megaro-Eleatic 
philosophy, which occupied the time of Plato s sojourn 
in Megara. In the third period, there is on the one 
hand, as to style, a return to the freshness and fulness 
of the first; 32 while on the other, Plato s horizon has 

31 Hermann himself says, p. philosophic development. 
1S4, ; the return to his native city 3 - Hermann accounts for thi, 

and the beginning of his career p. 397, as follows: It was not 

teacher in the Academy. But till his return to his native city 

i what follows he really assigns that the reminiscences of his youth 

ato s acquaintance with Pytha- conkl once more rise before his 

.joreanism, acquired on his travels, soul. This would certainly be u 

is the deciding motive in his remarkable effect of external cir- 

sopliy ; and from the fusion of all these 
get the most perfect expositions of his 
which the Socratic form receives the dee 
and thus attains its highest ideal. 33 1 
modern writers on this question fluctuate 
part between Schleiermacher and Herma: 
ample, Bitter 34 and Brandis, 35 and more i 

cnmstances on a character like 
Plato s ; but scarcely more remark 
able, perhaps, than the influence 
which Hermann ibid, suspects, of 
the separation a separation of a 
few miles from the metropolis of 
Greek classicality, in producing 
the crudities of the Megarian 

33 Hermann gives a full discus 
sion of the Lysis, as the type of 
the first class, which includes the 
Lesser Hippias, Ion, 1st Alci- 
biades, Charmidcs, Laches, and in 
completion the Protagoras and 
Euthydcmus. The Apology, Crito, 
and Gorgias are a transition to 
the second class, and the Euthy- 
phro, Meno, and Hippias Major 
comes still nearer to it ; but its 
proper representatives are the 
Theactetus, Sophist, Politictis, and 
Parmenides. The third class is 
headed by the Phsedrus, as an 
inaugural lecture at the opening 
of the Academy. Socher, o07 sq., 
and Stallbaum, Jntrod. Phavl. iv. 1, 
xx. sq., had already conceived this 
to be the position of the Phsedrus. 
The Menexcnus is an appendage to 
this, and the Symposium, Phaedo, 
and Philcbus are riper productions 

of the same perio 
pleted by the Pi( ! 
and Critias. The 
suggested by the 
the latter Sicilian 
34 Bitter, Gescl 
attaches only a s 
tance to the enqui 
of the Platonic 
impugns the exist 1 
port ant difference ; 
them, and does no 
Socratic period ir I 
activity to the exl 
recognition is jusl I 
up all certainty 
hand, but is incnm 
agreeing with Schleiermacher s 
three literary periods that the 
Pluedrus was written before the 
Protagoras (an inference from p. 
275 sqq., compared with Prot. 329, 
A., which does not seem decisive 
to me), and before and after these 
the Lesser Hippias, Lysis, Laches, 
rharmides ; then the Apology, 
Crito, Euthyphro ; next the Gorgias, 
Parmenidcs, Thecetetus, Sophist, 
Politicus ; perhaps about the same 
time the Euthydemus, Meno, and 
Cratylus ; later on, the Phsedo, 
Philebus, and Symposium ; and 


bing, 36 follow Schleiermacher in the main ; Schweg- 
ler 3r and Steinhart ally themselves with Hermann ; 38 

last the Republic, Timaeus (Grit.) 
and L:i\vs. 

J5 Brandis, ii. 152 sqq , defends 
Schleiermacher s view with much 
force and acuteness against the 
attacks of Hermann, without main 
taining the formers arrangement 
in all its details. He would assign 
the Parmenides to the second lite 
rary period, and not place the 
Meno, Kuthydemus, and Cratylus 
between the Theaetetus and Sophist. 
He eets the Phrcdrus, however, 
in the front rank, with Schleier 
macher, and next to it the Lysis, 
Protagoras, Charmides, Laches, 
Euthyphro ; and assents generally 
to the leading ideas of Schleier 
macher s arrangement. 

56 Ribbing, in his Genet. Dar- 
Btellungderplat. Ideenlehre (Leipz. 
1863), the second part of which is 
devoted to an examination into the 
genuinemss and arrangement of 
the writings, puts forward the 
hypothesis that the scientific con 
tents and the scientific form of the 
Platonic writings must be the 
standard for their arrangement, 
and that the order arrived at from 
this point of view must coincide 
with their proper chronological 
order. In accordance with this 
supposition he marks out, in 
agreement with Schleiermacher, 
three classes, among which he 
divides the particular dialogues in 
the following way: (1) Socratic 
Dialogues, i.e. such as particularly 
kiM-p to the Socratic method of phi 
losophizing, and are connected with 
the Platonic system propredeuti- 
cally : Phsedrus, Protagoras, Char 
mides (ace. to p. 131 sq. also 
Lysis), Laches, Euthyphro, Apo 

logy, Crito, and as a transition to 
the second class, Gorgias. (2} Dia- 
lectico-thcoretic dialogues : These- 
tetus, Meno, Euthydcmus, Cratylus, 
Sophist, Politicus, Parmenides. (3) 
Synthetic and progressive dialogues : 
Symposium, Phzedo, Philebus, Re 
public, with which (p. 117 sq.) the 
Timseus, together with the Critias 
and the doubtful Hermocrates, must 
.be connected, though not inti 
mately, on account of their expo 
sition of peculiar views. The re 
maining writings, and amongst 
these the Laws, Ribbing considers 

37 Hist, of Phil., 3rd edit. p. 43 sq. 

38 Steinhart arranges the dia 
logues as follows : 1st, Purely So 
cratic : Ion, Hippias Major and Mi 
nor, 1st Alcibiades (before Alci- 
biades second banishment, B.C. 406), 
Lysis, Charmides (at the beginning 
of the rule of the Thirty, B.C. 
404), Laches, Protagoras. Socratic, 
transitional to the doctrine of Idens : 
Euthydemus, B.C. 402 ; Meno, 309 ; 
Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, same 
year; Gorgias, soon after the be 
ginning of the sojourn at Megara ; 
Cratylus, somewhat later. 2nd, Dia 
lectical : Theoetetus, n c. 393, com 
posed perhaps at Gyrene ; Parmen 
ides, probably between the Egyptian 
and Sicilian journey ; Sophist and 
Politicus, same time or perhaps 
during the Italian journey. 3rd, 
Works belonging to Plato s matu 
rity, after his travels in Italy and 
more exact acquaintance with Py 
thagorean philosophy : the Phaedrus, 
B.C. 388 ; Symposium, 385 ; Plisedo, 
Philebus, Republic, about 367 ; 
Timreus, Laws. In his Life of Plato, 
however (301, 2, 232 sq.), the Meno 



Susemihl tries to reconcile both, 39 and similarly Ueber-l 
weg, 40 holding that the view of Plato s works, as evin 
cing a gradual development of his philosophy, has no 
less historical justification than the other view of a 
methodical design determining the order of the works, 
demands that the two principles should be to some 
extent the limit, and to some extent the complement, 
one of the other. He ultimately inclines very much 
to the side of Schleiermacher, placing, however, the 
commencement of Plato s literary career much later 
than Schleiermacher does, and differing considerably 
from all his predecessors with regard to the order of 
the several writings. 41 The theories of Munk and 

is placed in the lime after So 
crates death ; and the Philelms, 
with Ueberwcg in Plato s last 
period, between the Timseus and 
the La\vs. 

29 He agrees with Hermann in 
saying that at the beginning of 
his literary career Plato had not 
his whole system already mapped 
out. But he does not agree with 
Hermann s further theory, viz., 
that Plalo was unacquainted with 
earlier philosophies in Socrates 
lifetime, and that therefore the 
acquaintance shown with Elcatic 
and Pythagorean doctrines is a 
decisive criterion of the date of 
any work. His arrangement, ac 
cordingly, is slightly ditferent from 
his predecessor s : the first scries 
comprises Socratic or propaedeutic 
ethical dialogues, Hippias Minor, 
Lysis, Charmides, Laches, Prota 
goras, Mono (399 B.C.), Apology, 
Urito, Gorgias (soon after Socrates 
death), Euthyphro (rather later). 
The 2nd series, dialectic dialogues 

of indirect teaching : Euthydemus, 
Cratylus (both perhaps written at 
Megara), Thesetetus (after 394 and 
the visit to Gyrene), Phaedrus 
(389-8), Sophist, Politicus, Par- 
menides, Symposium (383-4), 
Phsedo. Third scries, constructive 
dialogues : Philebus, Eepublic 
(between 380 and 370), Tiuiasus, 
Ctitias, Laws. 

40 Enquiry into the PlaUnic 
writings, 89-111, 74 sq., 81. 

41 In the above-mentioned work 
(p. ICO sq. 293) with regard to the 
Protagoras, Lesser Hippias, Lysis, 
Charmides, and Laches, Ueberweg 
considers it probable that they 
were composed in Socrates life 
time, while the Apology and Crito 
(p. 246 sq.) were composed imme 
diately after his death. To the 
same period he thinks the Gorgias 
must belong (p. 249) ; the Phaedrus 
on the contrary (252 sq., 101) to 
the years 377-5 u.c. ; that the Sym 
posium must have been written 
385-4 (219 sq.), not long after the 


A\ oisse stand almost alone. While most commentators 
ii since Sclileiermacher have based their enquiry into the 
order of the Platonic books chiefly on the contents, 
f these two writers pay much more attention to the form ; 
Munk taking his criterion of earlier or later author 
ship from the date to which each dialogue is internally 
L assigned, 42 and Weisse from the distinction of direct 
K and narrated dialogues. 43 A few other authors, who 

Phoedrus; the Euthydemus (258, 
2;;> , between the Phaedrus and the 
Phaedo, the Republic and the 
Kmseus, and still earlier before the 
Pha^o the Mcno (281 sq.). The 
Theaetetus Ueberweg (227 sq.) 
places in the year 368, or there 
abouts ; the (Sophist, Politicus, and 
Philebus (p. 204 sq., 275, 171, 290 
sq.), as also the Laws, in Plato s 
last years (p. 221, 171). The 
Pannenides he considers spurious 
(supra 82, 86). These views are 
modified in the treatise Ueber don 
Gegensatz zwischen Methodikern 
and Genetikern, Ztschr. f. Philop. 
N. F. cvii. 1870, p. 55 sq. : cf. 
Grundr. i. 121, 4th edit, (besides 
the statements about the Sophist, 
Politicus, and Meno, quoted pp. 82, 
86 ; 83, 90). Uebenveg. r.ow thinks 
it likely that Plato s writings as a 
whole belong to the period after 
the founding of the school in the 
Academy ; and further, as a neces 
sary consequence of this supposi 
tion, he deduces the sequence of all 
.he writings without exception 
Tom a deliberate and systematic 
plan ; and, finally, in harmony 
with this, he places the Protagoras 
:vnd the kindred dialogues between 
:he Symposium and the Republic. 

42 In his treatise : The Natural 
Arrangement of the Platonic 

Writings (cf. especially p. 25 sq.) 
Munk goes on the supposition that 
Plato wished to give in the main 
body of his writings in the 
Socratic cycle not so much an 
exposition of his own system, as a 
complete, detailed, and idealised 
picture of the life of the true 
philosopher, Socrates; and as that 
presupposes a plan in accordance 
with which he determined the ex 
ternal investiture of the dialogues, 
so the times of publication show 
the order in which Plato intended 
them to be read, and on the whole 
also that in which they were com 
posed. In particular Munk makes 
the dialogues of the Socratic cycle 
follow one another thus, in three 
divisions : (1) Pannenides, Prota 
goras, Charmides, Laches, Gorgias, 
Ion, Hippias Major, Cratylus, 
Euthydemus, Symposium ; ( 2 ) 
Phoedrus, Philebus, Eepublic, 
Tinueus, Critias ; (3) Meno, The 
aetetus, Sophist, Politicus, Euthy- 
phro, Apology, ( rito, Phaedo. 
Outside the cycle come the dia 
logues which were composed be 
fore Socrates death, or on special 
occasions, such as on the one hand 
Alcibiades I., Lysis, and Hippias 
II., on the other the Laws and the 

43 Schu ne (on Plato s Protagoras, 


have never sought definitely to establish their theories, 44 
can only be shortly mentioned in this place. 

1862, p. 8 sq.) wishes to make this 
distinction the ground of an en 
quiry into the chronological order 
of Plato s writings. He appeals to 
the passage in the Republic, iii. 
392 C sq., where Plato banishes 
the drama from his state, and to 
gether with lyric poetry allows 
only narrative poetry, and that too 
under fixed and limited conditions. 
With him he comhines as standards 
for judgment, the esthetic and 
stylistic points of view, because the 
style of the particular writings is 
a more universal and trustworthy 
criterion of their genuineness and 
date than their subject matter, and 
the affinity of style will be very 
closely connected with the time of 
production. According to this point 
of view, as be remarks, the Pla 
tonic works will arrange them 
selves somewhat as follows : (1) 
Laws, Cratylus, Theaetetus, So 
phist, Politicus, Philebus, Timseus, 
Critias, Meno, Phredrus: (2) Men- 
excnus, Apology, Crito, Gorgias, 
La:hes, Charrnides, Protagoras, 
Symposium, Parmenides, Republic, 
Phrcdo : the direct dialogues are 
Gorgias, Cratylus, Critias, Crito, 
Laches, Meno, Laws, Phoedrus, 
Philcbus, Politicus, Sophist, The- 
retetus, Timseus ; the indirect arc 
Charmides, Parmenides, Phaedo, 
Protagoras, Republic, Symposium. 
The ^Apology is related to the 
direct, the Menexenus to the in 
direct dialogues. The writings not 
mentioned here Schone apparently 
does not allow to be Plato s. 
He says, however, in his preface 
that he is indebted to a lecture of 
Weisse for his fundamental concep 
tions as to the Platonic question, 

and also for many details in his 

44 Suckow, Form. d. Plat. Schrift. 
508 sq., supposes with Schleier- 
macher an arrangement and 
sequence of the Platonic dialogues 
according to deliberate and special 
aims. His arrangement, however, 
widely deviating from Schleier- 
macheris as follows: (l)Parmenides, 
Protagoras, Symposium, Phaedrns, 
(2) Republic and Timaeus; (3)Phile- 
bus, Therctetus, Sophist, Apology, 
Phzedo. (The Politicus and the 
Laws he considers spurious : as re 
gards the remaining dialogues he 
expresses no opinion.) Stein (Sieb. 
Biicher z. Gesch. d. Plat. i. 80 sq.) 
separates the Platonic dialogues 
into three groups: (1) introductory 
(Lysis, Phsedrus, Symposium); (2) 
such as work out the system in its 
particular elements, Ethics (Meno, 
Protagoras, Charmides, Laches, 
Euthyphro, Euthydemus), Science 
(Theretetus\ the theory of tho 
Good (Gorgias and Philebus), the 
theory of Ideas (Parmenides, So 
phist, and Politicus), Psychology 
(Phaedo) ; (3) the dialogues whicl: 
construct the State and the sys 
tern of Nature (Republic, Timaeus 
Critias, Laws). He regards J 
supplementary the Apology, Crito 
Menexenus, the two Hippire, Ion 
Alcibiades I., and Cratylus. The 
relation of this division to tl* 
time of the composition of the 
dialogues he has not yet explained. 
Rose, De Arist. libr. ord. 25 
proposes the following arrange 
merit: Apology, Crito, Alcibiadet 
I Euthyphro, Laches, Lysis 
Charmides* two Hippise, Ion 
Menexenus, Protagoras, Euthyde 


If we would gain a sure standard for this enquiry, 
the ostensible date of the dialogues and the historical 
position which Socrates occupies in them must not be 
taken into account; for we have no proof at all that 
the order which would thus result is the order in 
which they were composed, or that Plato ever in 
tended to portray his master in a continuous, bio- 
r graphical manner. Indeed, this assumption is refuted, 
; not only by the indications given in several of the 
works as to the time when they were written, 45 but 
, also by the circumstance that the Socrates of Plato 
^discourses of philosophy 46 in exactly the same manner, 
Jin age and in youth ; and during the last years of his 
: j life pursues enquiries which formed the elementary 
groundwork of dialogues purporting to be earlier. 47 The 
fact that Plato in the Theaetetus explicitly makes 
choice of the direct dramatic form of conversation to 
avoid the inconveniences of second-hand repetition, 48 

imis, _ Gorgias, Meno, Thesetetus, resembles that in the Protagoras, 
Sophist, Cratylus, Parmenides, where he is a young man ; and in 

letters, 47 Cf. e.g. the relation of the 

written Olymp. 107, 1. Alcibiades Theaetetiw to the Parmenides, of 

II. and Theages, if they are the Kepublic to the Timoms, of the 

genuine, precede the Protagoras. Politicus, Gorgias, Meno, and 

40 According to this the Meno, Euthyphro to the Kepublic, of the 

and probably also the Thesetetus, Fhaedrus to the Symposium. Munk 

must be earlier than the Symposium perverts these relations in a very 

and the Timseus: vide supra 93, 3; unsatisfactory way. Cf. also Suse- 

90,11. According to Munk they mihl s thorough criticism of Hunk s 

were later. work. Jahrb. fur Philol. Ixxvii. 

46 For instance in the Euthyde- 829 sq. 

mus, where ho is fjSrj irpecpvTcpos Page 143 B. sq., a passage 

(272 B), his philosophic method which can only be explained on 


and that he elsewhere more than once connects, either 
expressly or by an unmistakable reference, a direct 
dialogue with an indirect one preceding it, 49 would ol 
itself suffice to rebut the theory of Weisse ; for the 
suppositions that are necessary to countervail this 
evidence 50 go much farther than is permissible tc 
pure conjecture. Nor have we any right to suppose; 
that Plato gave unconditional preference to the re 
peated dialogue, except in cases where it was important 
for the attainment of the required end to describe with 
some minuteness the persons, motives, and accompany 
ing circumstances of the conversation ; 51 he doubtless, 
during his whole literary career, employed both forms 
indifferently, as occasion offered. There are other and 
more important clues by which we can to some extent 
determine the chronological order of the writings, and 

the supposition that the Thesetetus didactic. Here the question is not 

was preceded by other narrated about the imitation of different! 

dialogues (as the Lysis, Charm ides, characters, but about the exposition 

and Protagoras). of philosophic views. Should, how- 

49 The Timseus and the Laws to ever, that inference be drawn, we 
the Kepublic, the Philebus (supra, fail to see what advantage the 
70, 56) to the Parmenides. narrated dialogues had in this 

50 That the introduction of the respect over the direct, inasmuch 
Thoretetus is not genuine, that the as the expressions of the Sophists 
"Republic in an earlier recension and like persons, at the representa- 
hnd the form of a direct dialogue, tion of whom offence might have 
that the Laws (in spite of the been taken, in the one just as much 
evidences and proofs mentioned as in the other were related in 
supra, pp. 93, 2; 90, 11) were direct speech, consequently Sid, 
written before the lie-public, but /u/u-/7<rews and not aTrXrj dirjyriaei 
were only acknowledged after (Hep. 392 D). The most unworthy 
Plato s death; Schb ne, p. 6 sq. traits which Plato represents, such 

51 For the passage in the Ee- as the obstinacy and buffoonery of 
public which refers only to dramatic, Euthydemus and Dionysodorus, are 
epic, and lyric poetry, allows no described by Socrates, just as much 
reasoning from analogy as to Plato s as the bluntness of Thrasymachus 
procedure in writings which serve in Hep. i. 336 B. 

quite another aim, the philosophic- 

THE 01iJ>KJi OF Till : ri. ATONIC WHITINGS. Ill 

ti. also the question whether or not that order arises from 
i conscious design. Such are the references in various 
:1 dialogues to events in Plato s lifetime : they are, how- 
I ever, but few in number, and point only to the date 
t] before, and not after, which a dialogue could not have 

been written. 52 While, therefore, much valuable infor- 

y . nation of a particular kind is to be gained from them, 

, hey do not nearly suffice for the arrangement of the 

; vorks as a whole. A further criterion might be found 

n the development of Plato s literary art. But though 
, . irst attempts, as a rule, are wont to betray themselves 
e >y a certain amount of awkwardness, it does not follow 

hat the artistic excellence of an author s works keeps 
j,|xact pace with his years. For liveliness of mimetic 

inscription and dramatic movement, even delicacy of 
aste and sensitiveness to form, are with most persons, 
fter a certain age, on the decline ; and even before 
hat period, artistic form may be kept in the back- 
Tound by the exigences of strictly scientific enquiry ; 
j be mood of an author, the circumstances in which he 
; rites, the purpose for which particular works were 
i omposed, may determine the amount of care bestowed 
nd of finish attained, without affording us a clue as to 
leir relative dates ; and again, that which Plato in- 
aimded for the narrow circle of his personal disciples 
Jould probably be less ornate as to style than writings 
> . signed to awaken scientific interest in a large and 
$ixed number of readers, and to give them their first 
itroduction to philosophy. 53 On similar grounds, 

" Cf. supra, 93, 3. this on p. 80 (as to the genuineness 

Ihe remark in reference to of the writings), finds an analogous 


however, the scientific method in each later work is noi 

necessarily more perfect than in the earlier, though, 01 

the whole, the fluctuations may be slighter and th< 

progress more steady and continuous. Although 

therefore, in considering the mutual relation of tw< 

dialogues, this point of view ought not to be disre 

garded, in many cases the question cannot be decide* 

by reference to it alone. The philosophic content o 

the various writings affords a safer test. But here als< 

we must begin by enquiring to what extent and uncle 

what conditions the relative dates of the dialogues ma; 

be inferred from differences in their contents ; and wha 

are the characteristics which show whether an exposi 

tion really belongs to an earlier stage of its author 

development or was purposely carried less far. Plato 

own statements give us no information on this poim 

In a much criticised passage of the Pha3clrus (274 ( 

sqq.) he objects to written expositions on the groun 

that they are not restricted to persons who are capabl 

of understanding them, but come into the hands < 

every one alike, and are therefore liable to all kinds 

application to the order of compo- works, if, as in the case of Plat 

sition. Even in the case of poets we had preserved to us only I 

and artists, the supposition that works themselves, and not ani 

their more complete works are trustworthy accounts about ^ tl 

always their latest would lead to time of their origin as well. Th 

mistakes without end ; and though difficulty is still greater in dc-alm] 

in many of them of course the with a writer to whom the mei, 

epochs of their development are artistic form of his works is not a 

shown by marked stylistic peculiar- independent and separate objecj 

ities, still it would be exceedingly but only the means to other ami, 

difficult for us in most cases to "de- which themselves limit ^the coi- 

termine these epochs precisely, and ditions and direction of its appl; 

to assign to them their proper cation. 


misconception and unfounded abuse ; he would have 
them regarded in the light of a mere pastime, useful 
indeed for reminding those already instructed of what 
in after years they may have forgotten, but far less 
valuable than personal influence, by which others are 
- scientifically educated and led to right moral con 
victions. However important this passage may be 
in another connection, it affords us no help in de 
termining the order, date, and interdependence of the 
Platonic writings. We cannot conclude from it, as 
Schleieruiacher does, that Plato in each of the dialogues 
must have assumed the result of an earlier one unless 
it be previously shown that there existed among the 
dialogues a single inter-connected order; for particular 
: \ dialogues could serve very well for a reminder of oral 
discourse, and the thoughts engendered by it, even were 
; there no such connection among them. Nor can we 
presuppose, with Socher 54 and his followers, that Plato 
could only have expressed himself in this manner at 
the time when he had commenced, or was about to 
commence, his school in the Academy ; for, in the first 
place, there was nothing to hinder his exercising that 
intellectual influence on others the planting of words 
in souls fitted for them of which he here speaks, even 
before the establishment of regular teaching in the 
Academy; and, secondly, it is quite possible that in 
this passage he is not contrasting his literary activity 
with that kind of instruction which, as a matter of 

H Plato s Schriften, 307. Like- 286 ; ami further references! Ue- 
wise Stallbaum, Hermann, Stein- bervveg (Plat. Schr. 252 128) 
bart, Sasemihl (Genet. Eritwick. i. 



fact, he employed, but with the kind he desired, 
and, according to the Socratic precedent, kept before 
him as his ideal. 55 Still less can the quotation from 
the Pheedrus lend support to the theory that the com 
pilation of all the dialogues was bound up with Plato s 
instructions in the Academy ; 5G for, understand it as we 
will, it only expresses the opinion of the author at that 
particular time, and we do not know how early it was 
adopted or how long retained. That in his more 
comprehensive works at least, he entered upon subjects 
which in his oral teaching he either passed over, or 
dealt with more slightly, is in itself likely, and is con 
firmed by the citations of Aristotle. 57 If, however, it 
is impossible, even from this passage, to discover either 
the principles followed by Plato in the arrangement of 
his writings, or the time when these were composed, 
the scientific contents themselves contain evidences by 
which we can distinguish, with more or less certainty, 
the earlier from the later works. It cannot, indeed, 
be expected that Plato should expound his whole 
system in each individual work : it is, on the contrary, 
sufficiently clear that he often starts in a preliminary 
and tentative manner from presuppositions of which 
he is himself certain. But in all the strictly philo 
sophic writings, the state of his own scientific conviction 
is sure to be somehow betrayed: he either directly 
enunciates it, if only by isolated hints, when he is- 
designedly confining an enquiry to a subordinate and 

K In the Protagoras also (347 E, cnco. Cf. too the Phsedrus. 
329 A), which most critics rightly 5(i Ueberweg, Ztschr. f. Philos. 
place lav earlier (387 B.C.), he con- Ivn. G4 
trasts the songs of poets, and books Cf. page 74. 

generally, with personal confer- 


merely preparatory stage; or lie allows it to be in 
directly perceived in ordering the whole course of the 
argument towards a higher aim, and foreshadows in 
the statement of problems their solution in the spirit 
of his system. If, therefore, out of a number of works, 
otherwise related to one another, we find some that 
are wanting in certain fundamental determinations of 
Platonism, and do not even indirectly require them; 
while in others these very determinations unmistak 
ably appear we must conclude that at the time when 
the former were written, these points were not clearly 
established in Plato s own mind, or at any rate not so 
clearly as when he wrote the latter. If, again, two 
writings essentially presuppose the same scientific 
stand-point, but in one of them it is more definitely 
stated and more fully evolved; if that which in the 
one case is only prepared for indirectly, or generally 
established, in the other is distinctly maintained and 
carried out into particulars, it is probable that the 
preparatory and less advanced exposition was purposely 
meant to precede the more perfect and more systemati 
cally developed. The same holds good of Plato s re 
ferences to the pre-Socratic doctrines. He may indeed 
luivr been acquainted with these doctrines to a greater 
or less extent, without expressly touching on them ; but 
as we find him in the majority of his works either 
openly concerned with the most important, or at any 
rate unmistakably pointing to them, while in others he 
silently passes them by it is at least highly probable 
that the latter, generally speaking, date from a time 
when he did not bestow much attention on those 



doctrines, or was much less influenced by them than 
he afterwards became. Even if we suppose that he 
purposely abstained from mentioning them, we must 
still, in the absence of any internal proof to the con 
trary, consider those writings as the earlier in which 
such mention does not occur ; for in that case the most 
probable assumption would be that his silence proceeded 
from a desire to ground his readers thoroughly on a 
Socratic foundation, before introducing them to the 
pre-Socratic science. 

Lastly, great weight must be allowed to the 
allusions of one dialogue to another. These allusions 
indeed, as before remarked, 58 can very seldom take the 
form of direct citation ; yet there are often clear indi 
cations that the author intended to bring one of his 
works into close connection with some other. If in a 
particular dialogue an enquiry is taken up at a point 
where in another it is broken off; if thoughts which in 
the one case are stated problematically or vaguely 
suggested, in the other are definitely announced and 
scientifically established ; or if, conversely, conceptions, 
.and theories are in one place attained only after long 
search, and are elsewhere treated as acknowledged 
truths, everything favours the supposition that the one 
dialogue must be later in date than the other, and in 
tended as the application of its results. The author 
may either, in the composition of the earlier dialogue, 
have had the later one in view, or he may himself only 
have attained to the more advanced stand-point in the 
interval of time between them. In certain cases it 
58 Pp. 95, 9G. 


may still bo doubtful whether a discussion is related to 
another as preparatory groundwork or complementary 
superstructure: in general, however, further enquiry 
will decide. 

If then we attempt to apply these principles to 
the question before us, we shall find, as might be 
expected, that none of the theories we have been 
considering can be rigidly carried out; that the 
order of the Platonic writings cannot depend wholly 
either on design and calculation to the exclusion of 
all the influences arising from external circumstances 
and Plato s own development ; or on the gradual 
growth of Plato s mind, to the exclusion of any ulterior 
plan; or, still less, on particular moods, occasions, 
and impulses. We shall not press the assumptions 
of Schleiermacher to the extent of supposing that 
Plato s whole system of philosophy and the writings 
in which it is contained stood from the first moment 
of his literary activity complete before his mind, 
and that during the fifty years or more over which 
that activity extended he was merely executing the 
design thus formed in his youth. Even Schleiermacher 
did not go so far as this ; and though he con 
stantly refers the order of the Platonic works too ex 
clusively to conscious design, we shall not very greatly 
diverge from his real opinion if we suppose that when 
Plato began to write, he was indeed clear about the 
fundamental points of his system, and had traced out 
the general plan by which he meant to unfold it in his 
writings; that this plan, however, was not at once 
completed in its details, but that the grand outlines 
which alone in the commencement floated before him 


were afterwards gradually filled in perhaps, also, 
sometimes in compliance with special circumstances 
altered and enlarged, according to the growth of his 
knowledge and the recognition of more definite scien 
tific necessities. 59 On the other hand Hermann s point 
of view does not involve the conclusion, though he 
himself seems to arrive at it that Plato put together 
his system from outside, mechanically joining piece to 
piece, and expounding it in writings farther and farther, 
according as he became acquainted with this or that 
older school. The same principle of interpretation 
applies equally on the supposition that he developed 
the Socratic doctrine from within ; and that, instead of 
his acquaintance with another system of philosophy 
being the cause of his advance to another stage of his 
philosophic development, the progress of his own philo 
sophic conviction was in fact the cause of increased 
attention to his predecessors. Lastly, if, in explaining 
the origin and sequence of the Platonic writings, we 
chiefly rely on external circumstances and personal 
moods, 60 even then we need not, with Grote, 61 pro 
nounce the whole question hopeless, we can still 
enquire whether the contents of the works do not 
prove a gradual change in their author s stand-point, 
or the relation of one dialogue to another. This 
whole matter, however, is not to be decided on d 

59 So Brandfs, i. a. 1GO, defin- clear and precise from the first, 
ing more precisely Hermann s ob- their innate strength attained a 
iections (p. 351) to Schlciermacher a gradual and regular development. 

evolved from the Socratic doctrines 61 Plato, i. 186 sq. 
the outlines of his future system ; 

y ///; <>/;/)/:/! OF TUK PLATONIC \vitiTix<;x. \\\\ 

priori grounds, bub only by careful consideration of the 
Platonic writings themselves. 

Among these writings, then, there are certainly 
several which not only make passing allusion to pheno 
mena of the time, but are only comprehensible in relation 
to definite historical events. The chief purpose of the 
Apology is to give the speech of Socrates in his own 
defence; that of the Crito, to explain the reasons by 
which he was deterred from flight out of, prison ; G2 the 
Euthyphro seems to have been occasioned by the in 
dictment of Socrates, in conjunction with another con- 
r current incident ; C3 the Euthydemus by the appearance 
J of Antisthenes together with that of Isocrates, and the 
I charges brought by both against Plato. 64 But even in 
such works as these, which, strictly speaking, are to be 
considered as occasional, the stand-point of the author 
is so clearly manifest that we can without difficulty 
assign them to a particular period of his life. The 
main purpose, however, of the great majority of the 
dialogues, be their outer motive what it may, is the 
representation and establishment of the Platonic phi 
losophy: it is therefore all the more to be expected 
that we should in some measure be able to trace in 
them how far Plato at the time of their composition 
had either himself advanced in the formation of his 
system, or to what point he then desired to conduct the 
reader; and on what grounds he assumes that his 
system might be known to the reader from earlier 

- Ami at the same time in the ^ Part i. 161, 1. 
defence of his friends against the C4 Cf. p. 84, 94. 
rumours intimated 44 B. 


writings. Now we can discover in one part of these 
writings, nothing that carries us essentially beyond the 
Socratic stand-point. In the Lesser Hippias, Lysis, 
Charmides, Laches, Protagoras, Euthyphro, Apology, 
Crito, there is as yet not a hint of that doctrine which 
marks the fundamental distinction between the Platonic 
and Socratic conception al Philosophy : the doctrine of 
the independent existence of ideas, above and beside 
that of phenomena. 65 Neither do they contain any 
discussions on Natural Science or Anthropology ; 6G the 
belief in immortality is but doubtfully touched on in 
the Apology ; 7 and the Crito (54 B) only presupposes 
the popular notions about Hades, without a reference 
to the more philosophic belief, or to the Pythagorean 
myths, which later on are hardly ever left unnoticed in 
passages treating of future retribution. In none of 
these dialogues does Socrates occupy himself with any 
thing beyond those ethical enquiries, in which, accord- 

r ~ Socrates desire in tlie Entliy- after all means merely method or 

phro, 5 D, 6 D, to hear, not merely form. Plato in fact is standing on 

of some particular o<noj>, d\\ e/cetico the threshold of the Socratic doc- 

avrb TO eTSos, $ irdvTa ra oaid ecrri, trine of ideas, but has not yet 

and his explanation fju$ ISeq. rd re stepped beyond it. Still less can 

av6<ria dvoaia dvcu nai TO. o<ria o<ria be inferred from the Lysis, 217 

(cf. Kitter, ii. 208 ; Steinhart, ii. C sq. ; and even if with Steinhait, 

1 ( J5; Susenrihl, i. 122), must not be i. 232 sq., we discover here the 

made to prove too much. Socrates dawn of the doctrine of separate 

had, indeed, already insisted on the Ideas, we must still allow that the 

constancy of universal ideas : the passage, as universally understood, 

separate existence of genera is not, does not pass out of the circle of 

however, hinted at in the Euthy- Socratic tenets, 
phro. We cannot draw any in- w E.g. : that the Platonic divi- 

ierences from the names etSos and siori of the soul is intimated in 

I8^a : whereas in Xcnophon univer- the Protagoras, 352 I> ; on which 

sal concepts are called 7^77. Plato point I cannot agree with Ritter. 
can express them in the Socratic G7 Vide Part i. 149. 
acceptation by tSe a or eT5o?, which 

Till: ORDER (>F Till PLATONIC WlllTIXGS. 121 

i ing to history, the real Socrates was entirely absorbed ; 
in none does he exhibit more intimate knowledge of 
the earlier systems, in none does he cope with other 
adversaries than those who actually did oppose him, 
the Sophists. The doctrine of virtue has still the older 
originally Socratic stamp : the virtue of the wise is 
alone regarded as virtue, and all particular virtues are 
reduced to knowledge, without the recognition of an 
unphilosophical virtue side by side with the philosoph 
ical, or the admission of a plurality of virtues, such as 
we afterwards find. 68 A certain crudity of method is 
also evident in all these dialogues. 69 The amount of 
mimetic by-play bears 110 proportion to the meagreness 
of the philosophic contents : throughout the dramatic 
description is lively, while the scientific conversation 
proceeds laboriously and interruptedly with elemen 
tary determinations. Even the Protagoras, with all 
its artistic excellence, is not free from discussions of 
fatiguing prolixity, and the explanation of the verse of 
Simonides (338 E sqq.) especially disturbs the trans 
parency of its plan, and looks very like a piece of 
youthful ostentation. Finally, if we compare the 
argument of the Gorgias (495 sqq.) against the identity 
of the good and pleasure, with that of the Protagoras 
(351 B sqq.), which leaves this identity still as a hypo 
thesis, it is clear that the latter must be earlier than 
the former, and consequently than all the dialogues 
succeeding it. 70 Separately all these indications may 

58 As regards the division be- Crito arc to be excepted, which 

tween philosophic and ordinary are not concerned with philosophi- 

virtuo, Mono, 93 I) sq. cal enquiries. 

Only the Apology and the 70 The opposite view is main- 


be inconclusive; collectively, they certainly warrant 

the opinion, that at the time of his composing the above- 
named works, Plato, as regards the scientific form, was 
less skilled in the art of developing conceptions ; and 
as regards the contents, was still essentially limited to 
the scope and results of the Socratic teaching. 71 This 

tained by Schone, Plat. Prot. 88 sq. acted upon by Socratts in his 
He wishes to make out that the whole argument Protag. 351 U, is 
advance is rather on the side of fundamentally contested. 1 cannot 
the Protagoras. He says that believe, that after making Socrates 
whereas the Gorgias identified the refute a principle so decidedly in 
crya^ and the ux^X^, which is, this passage, in the Republic, m 
however, nothing else than the the Philebus, and elsewhere, 1 lato 
continued eC /3twu of the Protago- should, in a later dialogue, make 
ras it contents itself with a mere him repeat the same principle 
apparent difference between &ya9bv without the slightest modification ; 
and i]8v ; the Protagoras on the and the same must, I think, hold 
other hand abolishes this appear- good in a still greater degree ot the 
ance, and draws out in outspoken Philebus, which Schone, following 
eudsemonisra the consequence of Weisse s theory (supra p. 107, 
the Socratic stand-point, However, 43), likewise considers later than 
supposing eudsemonism were really the Protagoras, 
this consequence (we have examined - 1 The above holds good also if 
this, Part i. 124 sq.), are we to we suppose that the object ot the 
believe that Plato recognised it as Protagoras and the kindred dial 
such? According to our subse- logues was not so much the ex- 
nuent knowledge of his Ethics, cer. position of philosophic theories as 
tainly not. And is it correct to the painting of the character ot 
say that the Gorgias by to0eXt/xoj>, Socrates. For as m this case 
which is identified with the good, (leaving out of the question the 
means merely the same as the Apology and the Crito) the qucs- 
e5 fw of the Protagoras (351 B), tion is still not about historical 
viz. rjSeus piuvai continued to the accuracy, but about an ideal pic- 
end of life ? Surely the discussion ture of Socrates, we must ask why 
with Polus, 474 C sq., refutes this the same man, as regards his plulo- 
supposition ; for although it shows sophical convictions, should be here 
that the right is, indeed, not more depicted in so many respects ditte- 
areeable, but more profitable than rently from the representations of, 
the wrong, yet it seeks this profit e.g. the Symposium and Phttdo ; 
exclusively in the health of the and it would be very difficult to 
soul (47 1 A sqq.). Further on, bring forward any sufficient reason 
495 A, the position that 7?Su and for this, if Plato himself as a philoso- 
ayadbv are the same, and that pher took just the same stand-point 
all pleasure as such is good, and there as he does here. The truth is, 
therefore the very supposition the two sides, the depicting of the 

>r THI-: I>LAT<>XK< 

: must doubtless have been the case while he remained 

1V under the personal influence of Socrates, and we might 
therefore be inclined to place all these dialogues in 
:he period before or immediately after the death of 
Socrates. 72 But there are many to which this theory 

1 ould not be extended without ascribing to the youthful 
Mato an improbable amount of creative skill in the use 
)f the philosophic dialogue, an artistic form which he 

iv. lad himself introduced ; and even if we restrict it to 
he works already named, it may still be asked 73 
vhether Plato, while his master was still alive, and 

; I -veryone might listen to his discourses, would have as- 

1 Bribed to him other discourses of his own invention. 

; , "his, however, does not make it impossible that Plato 
nay have attempted to compose Socratic dialogues, 
ven in the lifetime of Socrates, and may perhaps have 
rritten them down, without allowing them to go 
eyond the circle of his intimate friends; 74 but it is 
ery unlikely that he should at that time have pro- 
uced so elaborate a work as the Protagoras, which, by 
:s whole plan and design, was evidently meant for the 
ublic. This may more properly perhaps be assigned 
ith the Apology and Crito 75 to the interval between 

jnuine philosopher and the ex- 73 Cf. Schone, PI. Protag. 72 

jsition of a philosophic system, Grote, Plato, i. 196 sq. (whobrin^s 

innot be divided in Plato : he forward my view with less authori- 

aws Socrates for us in such tative grounds) ; with him, Uebcr- 

way, that he at the same weg agrees in what follows, supr.i 

ic leaves to him the develop- p. 100, 41. 
ent which to his mind was the " The Hippias may be such 

>cratic, that is, the true philoso- an earlier literary experiment : cf. 

pp. 85, 80. 

- So Hermann, Stc nhart, Suse- 7n It is probable that the Apolo- 

I ; earlier also Teberweg, supra, gy was published immediately after 

>. 105, 106. Socrates death, perhaps written 



the death of Socrates arid the commencement of th<| L 
Egyptian journey; 76 and in conjunction with th< ( 

down even before, inasmuch as a 
faithful report of the speech which 
Focrates delivered before the tribu 
nal must have been the more easy 
to Plato, the fresher it was in his 
remembrance. And indeed it was 
then that he had the most pressing 
summons to set right the ideas of 
his fellow-citizens about his teacher 
by a narrative of the facts. The 
latter reason, however, would lead 
us to place the Crito not much 
later, the more so because here the 
interest intimated in the Crito 
itself is added, namely, to defend 
the friends of Socrates against the 
appearance of having done nothing 
at all lo save him. It might cer 
tainly appear that Plato could not 
have spoken of the preparations 
for Socrates escape, immediately 
after his death, without endanger 
ing the safety of the parties in 
volved therein. But it is question 
able whether, on the whole, the 
discovery of a plan which remained 
unaccomplished could have led to 
prosecutions, and whether the plan 
was not already known even be 
fore the appearance of the Crito; 
again, we do not know how lorg 
Crito out-lived Socrates, and 
whether Plato does not wish to de 
fend the dead against unfavourable 
judgments: moreover, if Crito was 
no longer living, he had _ greater 
freedom in referring to him ; yet 
besides Crito, he mentions by name 
none of the persons implicated (p. 
45 B), such as the Thebans Sim- 
mias and Cebes, who without 
doubt had already returned home. 

r6 A more precise arrangement 
is impossible from the fact that 
the particulars of this period of 

Plato s life are not known. If hi 
stay at Megara could have laste< 
longer, he might have compose, 
the dialogues in question there 
But it has"^ been already remarked 
p. 17 sq., that we have no righ 
to make this supposition, and it i 
a wide departure from authen 
ticated tradition to speak, as Hei 
mann docs, of a Megaric perio< 
and Megaric dialogues. Uebenvej 
(Zeitschr. f. Phil. Ivii., 1870, p 
76 sq. supra, 100, 41) wishes t 
put back the Protagoras and th 
kindred dialogues to 387 n.c. 
and he believes that for thi 
chronology he finds a strong extei 
nal support in the fact that Isc 
crates (Bus. 5), six years afte 
Socrates death, reproaches th 
rhetorician Polycrates: AA/a/3tct5i; 
?5uKa$ CU T (Socr.) /Aa^rrjv, ov v* 
fKeivov ptv oi)5eis 17 (rdero Traidevt, 
fj,6i>ov, which, after the appearanci. 
of the Protagoras, could no lunge i 
have been said. But if this asset 
tion is not mere imagination (an< 
certainly in the Busiris, ^hic 
pays little regard to histoiicc 
truth, we may very well expec 
this from Iterates), it cannot mea 
to deny the intercourse of Ale 
biades with Socrates, but onl 
to deny, what Xenophon al* 
Mem. i. 2, 12 sq. refutes, that 
opinions and conduct were met 
tived by the Socratic teaching 
That oii the other hand he w| 
connected with Socrates for a cal 
siderable length of time must aW 
be universally known from Xvj 
loc. cit. This result, however, || 
also obtained from the Protagoras 
Alcibiades is not here represenfcj 
as Tra.i5fv6fJ.evoy virb 

mi-: i)iu>i-:n OF Tin-: rr. ATOXIC WRITINGS. 125 

& Laches, (Jharmides, and Lysis, may have been intended 

is a portrayal of Socrates and his philosophy, which, 

though full of poetic freedom and invention, was in the 

Jnain true to nature, and might therefore be used by 

; {Aristotle as historical evidence. 77 About the same date, 

f-faut rather earlier than the Apology, the Euthyphro 

j; pay have been written with a similar design : unless 

J [ndeed it belongs to the time of Socrates trial. 78 

It is otherwise with the Gorgias, Meno, Thea3- 
;etus, and Euthydemus. These four dialogues, judging 
rom the references in them to contemporary events, 
nust not only be later, and for the most part many 
ears later, than the Protagoras and the death of 
derates; 79 but they also in their scientific content 

Cf. p. 85. able to produce such a work of 
8 The fact, however, that the art as the Protagoras, we have no 
iew of Plato s literary activity reason to look in vain for traits of 
.eveloped above makes him begin, his high genius even in the essays 
lot with epoch-making works, of this period ; on the other hand 
irhich give a glimpse of all that is we can hardly imagine how, after 
o follow, but with essays of the Phaedrus, he could have writ- 
mailer scientific pretensions (as ten a Lysis, a Laches, and a Char- 
iibbing, Plato s Ideenl. ii. 70 sq. mides, and also in the Protagoras 
bjects), can hardly be construed to how lie could so entirely have re- 
is prejudice. The same is the framed from any reference to the 
use to say nothing of our great theories which separate his stand- 
oets) with Kant, Leibnitz, Send- point from the Socratic. 
ng, and many other.-!. Before 79 It has been already shown, 
J lato had discovered in the theory p. 93, 3 ; 18, 31 ; pp. 83, 84 ; 
f Ideas the peculiar principle that the Meno cannot have been 
f his system, which could only written before 395, nor the Thesete- 
ave^ happened after long^ pre- tus before 394 B.C. ; and the Euthy- 
aration, no was of necessity li- demus gives evidence of the 
lited _ to the setting forth the activity of Antisthenes in Athens, 
ocratic philosophy in detail. That and his attacks upon Plato, as 
lere was need of some practice in well as the attack of Isocrates on 
be literary form which was first the Sophists (cf. on this point 
sed by him can cause us no sur- also p. 132, 94). Even apart from 
rise : seeing, however, that, so soon the obvious allusions, ( Jorg. 486 A, 
ftcr the first experiments, he was 508 C sq., 521 B gq., we must 



(cf. vol. i. 380, oj suuwo ni? cvui/iiui . 
acquaintance with Pythagoreism 
Gorgias, 393 A, D, Plato employ 
Philolaus comparison of the crw// 
to a awa (v. vol. i. 388, 5), and ind 
cates its source by the words 

point unmistakably to a time when Plato had alreacl 
laid the corner stone of his system in the theory ( 
ideas, 80 when he had appropriated the Pythagorea 
notions of the transmigration of souls and a retribi 
tion after death, 81 and connected them by means of tb 
doctrine of Anamnesis with that theory ; 82 with whic 

suppose the Gorgias to have been 
written not before Socrates death : 
this, however, does not help us 

80 In the Euthydemus, 301 A, 
KctXa Trpcfyuara are erepa auroO 76 
TOU KO\OV irdptffTt \iivTQi eKaa-Ttf) 
avT&v KciXXos TI. In these words I 
see not merely, with Steinhart, 
a close approximation to the 
doctrine of Ideas, but the actual 
enunciation of this doctrine. The 
avTOKaXbv, the ideally fair, which, 
separate from individual things 
that are fair, gives them their 
fairness by its present indwelling, 
is actually the Idea of the Ka\6v. 
This enunciation is immediately 
followed by an objection which 
Antisthenes appears to have used 
against the participation of Things 
in the Ideas : v. Part i. p. 255, 2. 
The words of the Thesetetus, 
176 E, are even clearer: Trapa- 
5et7/xctTWi ev rp &VTI e<TT&T(*)i> cf. 
175 C is a plain assertion of the 
doctrine, which is expressed in the 
Parmenides, 132 1), in almost the 
same words. The Here as the 
dwelling-place of evil, and the 
There to which we are told 
to flee in the TheEetetus, 176 A, 
is another decisive example of 
Plato s idealism being already 

81 These Pythagorean doctrines 
are seen clearly, not only in the 
Mono (v. following note), but in 
the Gorgias. 508 A of the latter 

/co/ii/ ds dvrjp is the begii 
ning of a well-known song of Tin* 
creon s, given in Bergk s Poet: 
Lyrici, p. 941 ; and the addition < 
IraXt/cos points to the Italian Phil 
sophers, and in particular to Phil 
laus of Tarentum. The referenc 
is not quite so clear, 523 A sqq 
where the ordinary notions abon 
the judges of the dead, the island 
of tlie blessed, and Hades, are givei 
But the belief in immortaliti 
appears unequivocally here, as i i 
the Theaetetus, 177 _ A, and i:i 

524 B is connected with the sarn j 
thoughts as meet us afterwards i 
the Phsedo, 64C,80C. The Gorgiaf 

525 15 sqq., distinguishes betwee. 
curable and incurable sins, temj 
poral and eternal punishments ii 
the future world ; just as later oil 
the Republic, x. 615 D sq., doesf 
following Pythagorean doctrines | 
So we cannot doubt that at th< 
time he wrote the Gorgias, Plato : 1 
views of a future state were in th(i 
main settled. 

82 Vide the well-known passage 
in the Meno, which will be noticec: 
further in a subsequent place, 81 A 
sq. The reference in this to the 
Pythagorean doctrine of metem- 


indeed the whole belief in immortality as he under 
stood it was so bound up that both must have arisen 
almost simultaneously. 83 Since therefore these dia- 

psychobis is perfectly plain, though 
Plato (with I hilolaus, v. Ft. i. 
327, 1) only appeals to Pindar 
and the Orphic tradition ; the 
proof, as is well known, is in a 
teuet of the Pythagorean Mathe 
maticsthe Pythagorean funda 
mental theory. And it seems 
equally clear to me that the doc 
trine of Reminiscence (drct/inprt*) 
really presupposes that of the 
Ideas. The ohjects of reminis 
cence can only he the universal 
concepts (dXyOela T&V ftvrwv} the 
sensuous forms of which meet us 
in individual things not in 
dividual presentations which we 
(have experienced in our former 
[lives: v. Meno, 86 A; cf. Phiedo, 
109 E. Plato expresses himself as 
iif the latter were his meaning, but 
this is merely the same mythical 
form of exposition which we find 
elsewhere ; he states in the Phaedo, 
|72 E sqq., with unmistakable 
reference to the Meno, the par 
ticular way in which he wishes 
Ito be understood. I cannot, any 
noiv than Ribbing (PI. Ideenl. i. 
17:5 j-<|.) or Steger (PI. Stud, i. 
l- > . ;igree with Steinhart (loo. cit. 
|(1, 96 ; iv. 85, 383, 416) and Suse- 
nilil (ienet. Entw. i. 85 sq.) in 
lading in the Meno an earlier and 
nore immature form of the theory 
>f Reminiscence than in the 
hsedius, nor with Schaarschmidt 
8am ml. d. plat. Schr. 356 Bq.), 
vho avails himself of the passage 
fl question as evidence lor the 
puriousness of the Meno. The 
leno says, 81 C, that the soul has 
,3arnl every thing,inasurach as it has 

seen .vat TCI frdade Kal ra iv "A5ou 
Kal irdvTa ^pi^ctra. Similarly in 
the Republic and the Timseus : in 
the former (x. 614 E), the souls 
after their wanderings through the 
world above and the world beneath 
are represented as narrating to one 
another what they have seen in 
both; in the latter* (41 D), each of 
them before entering into human 
existence is placed on a planet, in 
the revolutions of which it con 
templates the universe ; with the 
last description, the Phaxhus 
agrees on the whole, although 
in it the ideas stand for that 
which the souls see during their 
journey round the world. The 
Meno again reckons moral and 
mathematical truths amongst the 
things which the soul knows from 
its pre-existence, 81 C, 82 A sq. 
Further on (p. 85 E sq.) we are met 
by the fallacy : If the soul were 
in possession of knowledge, 6f av 
77 xpovov Kal &v av /JLTJ 17 Hvdpuiros, it 
must always be in possession of 
knowledge. I will not undertake 
to defend the validity of this con 
clusion. I would rather ask where 
is the valid conclusion, by which 
pre - existence is proved, and 
whether, for example, the method 
of proof in the Phredo, 70 C sq., 
has in this respect any advantage 
over that of the Meno ? In 
point of fact, our fallacy is ex 
pressly mentioned in the Pha;do, 
72 E, as a well-known Socratic 
evidence for the immortality of 
the soul. 

83 Plato himself gives his 
opinions on this connection iu 


logues occupy themselves quite disproportionately with 
elementary enquiries into the most universal moral 
principles, concerning the oneness and teachableness of 
virtue, the conception of knowledge, and the like; the 
reason cannot be that Plato had not himself advanced 
essentially beyond the Socratic stand-point and the 
earliest beginnings of his own system, it must lie in 
methodical calculation. The author here intentionally 
confines himself to what is elementary, because he wants 
first to establish this on all sides, to secure the founda 
tion of his building, before raising it higher. His 
method in the Cratylus, Sophist, Politicus, and Par- 
menides must be criticised from a similar point of 
view. These dialogues decidedly presuppose the 
doctrine of ideas: 84 in the Politicus Plato, besides 
laying down his theory of government, also gives ex 
pression to several important determinations of his 
natural philosophy, 85 betraying Pythagorean influence 

the Phrcdo 70 D sq. It there is, the external appearance, which, 

he says a beautiful, a good, &c., with Plato, is closely connected 

and generally if there are ideas, with the theory of the absolute; 

the soul must have already been reality of the Ideas; the soul in 

in existence before birth: if we its higher parts lives upon the: 

deny the former position, we can- intuition of the Ideas (24, JJ, j 

not grant the latter. He says this 24813). ^ 

in reference to the dvd/wTjo-ts, - 1 It will be shown later on hovri 

which is indeed really a rccol- the Sophist and Parmcnides ostab- 

lection of the ideas. The same, lish and carry out this doctrine, 

however, holds good of the later For the Cratylus, cf. 439 I sq. 

proofs for the immortality of the (where the expression 6vei.p(Lrr^9 

bouPs nature (Pluedo, ICO B sq.) ; can at most only mean that the doc- 

as throughout he goes upon the trine is new to the readers, not that 

relation m which the soul stands it has occurred to Plato only then 

to the idea of life ; and the con- for the first time) 386 D, 389 B, D, 

ception of the soul in the Phzedrus 390 E, 423 E ; and the Politicus, 

as ap-w Kir/iffcus T 245 C Sl l-), all 285 E sq., 2(39 D. 
along presupposes the separation 5 Polit. 209 D sq., we find 

of the eternal and essential from the opposition of the iuimutabw 


not only in these, but in other more distinct references 
to that school of his predecessors. s<] Consequently it 
cannot be supposed that at the date of these dialogues 
he had not yet perfected his philosophic principle, nor 
occupied himself with the Pythagoreans ; and though, 
as to contents and method, he is here most nearly 
allied with the Eleatic-Megarian philosophy, this merely 
proves that he desired to lead his readers onward from 
that starting point, not that he himself had not already 
passed it. 

As little are we compelled, on account of the definite 
prominence in the Phaedrus of the doctrine of ideas, 
and the changing existences of the soul, to consider 
that dialogue as later than the Sophist, Statesman, and 
Parmenides, 87 or even than the Gorgias, Meno, Euthy 
demus, Cratylus, and Thea3tetus. 88 It is quite as pos- 

divine existence and the mutable a reference to Pythagoreism. The 

corporeal world, and, as a con- Sophist, 252 B, gives us the 

sequence, the assumption of pcrio- Pythagorean opposition of the Li- 

dical changes in mundane affairs, tnited and Unlimited, which meet 

And in 272 D sq., 271 B sq., we us again in the Parmenides, 137 D, 

get, in connection with this, the 143 I.) sq., 144 E, 158 B sqq., with 

doctrine that each soul in each the addition of a contrast be- 

mundane period has to run through tween Odd and Even, One and 

a fixed number of earthly bodies, Many ; and, ibid. 143 D sq., the 

unless previously transferred to a derivation of numbers is a reminis- 

higher destiny. In 273 B, D, the cence of the Pythagoreans. In the 

doctrine of the Timseus on matter is Politicus, we have the Pythagorean 

clearly anticipated. tenets of the Mean, 284 E sq., and 

80 In the Cratylus, 400 B sq., the doctrine of the Unlimited, 

we find Philolaus comparison of 273 D. 

crw/j.a and ff^u.a, which occurred 87 So Hermann and Steinhart: 

before in the Gorgias. We are vide supra, pp. 103, 104 ; 105, 38. 

further told that this life is a state ss As Susemihl : vide supra, 

of purification. In 405 D, we Deuschle (The Platonic Politicus, 

have the Pythagorean World Har- p. 4) puts the Phsedrus rather 

raony ; in 403 E, the Platonic earlier, between the Euthydemus 

doctrine of immortality, which is and Cratylus. 



Bible that Plato here mythically foretells convictions 
which were already in his mind during the writing of 
those dialogues, but which, for the sake of the sys 
tematic evolution of his doctrines, he had for the present 
set aside : that the Phgedrus may thus be the introduc 
tion to a longer series of writings, designed from its 
position to afford the reader a preliminary view of the 
goal, hereafter to be frequently hidden from his eyes, j 
as he presses towards it by the long and tortuous 
road of methodical enquiry. This possibility rises 
into probability if we take into consideration all those 
traces of youthfulness which others have observed; 89 
if we remark that some important points of doctrine 
are in this work, as in the glow of a first discovery, 
still wanting in the closer limitation which Plato was 
afterwards obliged to give them ; 90 if we note how, in 

89 In Diog. iii. 38, OlympiodoruH lited with ostentations complete- 

3 (vide p. 92, 1), it is declared to nees ; and at every pause the by- 

be Plato s first written treatise, by play breaks out in renewed luxuri- 

reference to the /xei/xx/atDSes of its mice, or an uncalled-for solemnity 

subject the dithyrambic character is imparted to the tone. Such are 

of the exposition. Schleiermacher, some of the points noticed by 

PI. W. 1 a. 09 sq., gives a more Schleiermacher ; and to these we 

thorough exposition of the youth- may add that even the famous 

fnl character recognisable in the myth of the Phrcdrus lacks the 

whole texture and colour of the intuitive faculty which marks 

Phrcdrus. He calls attention to Platonic myths as a rule. The 

the tendency to writing for dis- dithyrambic tone of the whole 

play, and the exhibition of the work has none of the repose about 

author s own superiority, which is it with which, in other dialogues, 

discernible throughout ; to the Plato treats the most exalted 

proud lavishness of material seen themes ; it is indeed so signally 

in the second and third refutation different from the matured lucidity 

of the dialectic adversary, each of of the Symposium, that we can 

which outdoes its predecessor, only scarcely suppose there are only a 

to result in the declaration that few years between them, 
his whole literary production, and x Courage and Desire, which, 

these speeches with it, are merely according to the Timseus, 42 A, 

play. The Khetors are discoru- 69 C sq. (cf. Polit. 309 C ; Rep. x. 


the second part, the elements of the scientific method 
are as if for the first time laid down, and the name and 
conception of Dialectic, already familiar to us in the 
Euthydemus, 91 are introduced as something new; 92 
if, in fine, we compare the remarks on rhetoric in the 
riui drus with those in the Gorgias: 93 and the judg- 

611 B sqq.\ compose the mortal 
soul which only comes into being 
at the union with the, are 
here, 240 A sq., transferred to the 
pro-existent state, and in 249 1) 
sq. we find the Love which is the 
main theme of the Phjodnu con 
ceived only in general terms as the 
striving after the Ideal, awakened 
by the action of beauty. Not till 
we come to the Symposium do 
we find the addition, that Love is 
concerned with production in the 
sphere of beauty. 

91 P. 290 C ; also Cratylus, 
.7.10 C; Soph. 253 D sq. ; Polit. 
2S5 D, 287 A. 

9 - P. 2(55 C sqq. Dialectic is 
here described on its former logical 
side only ; and I cannot agree with 
Steinhart (PI. W. iii. 459) in re 
garding the representation given 
of it as more mature than that 
in the Sophist, where, loc. cit., the 
logical problem of 1 )ialectic is based 
on the doctrine of the community 
of concepts. Stallbanm s attempt 
iDe Art. Dial, in Pluedro doctr. 
Lpz. 1853, p. 13) to reconcile the 
elementary description of Dialectic 
in the Pktedras with the later 
enunciation does not satisfy me. 
lie says that the Phsedrus only 
wants to represent Dialectic as the 
true art of L->ve. Even if this were 
so, it would not follow that it 
should be treated as something 
new, the very name of which has 
to be enquired. But there is no 

justification in the dialogue itself 
for thus narrowing down the scope 
of its second part. 

95 The Phtedrus, 260 E sqq , 
shows that Rhetoric is not an art 
at all, but only a Tpifir) foexvos, and 
we find the same in the Gorgias, 403 
A sqq. But the former not only 
takes no exception to the general 
description of Rhetoric as having 
only persuasion for its object (how 
ever little this may have been 
Plato s own view), but makes this 
description the basis of its argu 
ment. The latter contradicts this 
flatly, 458 E, 504 D sqq., and gives 
the Rhetor the higher aim of amend 
ing and teaching his audience ; and 
because Rhetoric does not satisfy 
these requirements, it is, in the The- 
setetus, 201 A, Politicus, 304 C, 
allowed only a subordinate value, 
compared with Philosophy ; though 
the Pluedrus does not clearly divide 
the respective methods of the ttvo. 
In face of these facts (which 
Uebcrweg s remarks, Plat. Schr. 
294, fail to display in any other 
light) I cannot allow much im 
portance either to the criticism of 
the Phsedrus on single Rh;-tors 
anl their theories (Stcinhart, iv. 
I ! , nor to- the circumstance which 
Hermann alone (Plat. 517) regards 
as decisive, viz. that the Phajdrua 
270 A passes a judgment on 
Pericles so much more favourable 
than the Gorgias 515 C sq. 519 A. 
The former praises him as a 

K 2 


ment on Isocrates with that of the Euthydemus. 94 
The opinion therefore seems justifiable that Plato up 
to the death of Socrates remained generally true to the 
Socratic manner of philosophy, and therefore in the 
writings of this period did not essentially advance 
beyond his teacher ; but that in the years immediately 

speaker of genius and scientific 
culture ; the latter blames him as 
a statesman. Both this praise and 
blame are quite compatible (as 
Krische has already remarked, 
Plat. Phwdr. 114 pq.) at an y rate 
just as much as e.g. the praise of 
Homer and other poets, Symp. 209 
D, is compatible with expressions 
such as Gorg. 502 B sq. ; Rep. ii. 
377 C sq. ; x. 598 D sq. ; and even 
supposing it were otherwise, the 
question t-till remains whether the 
unfavourable judgment is the 
earlier or the later one : the judg 
ment of the Gorgias is repeated 
in the Politicus, 303 B sq. ; and as 
Plato always considered democracy 
to be bad, we cannot see how he 
ever could have arrived at a dif 
ferent view as regards the states 
man who most decidedly had paved 
the way for it. 

94 In the Euthydemus, without 
mentioning Isocrates, yet with dis 
tinct reference to him, his depreci 
atory judgments as regards the 
Philosophers for as he calls them 
the Eristics, the Sophists) are de 
cidedly rebutted, and the middle 
position which he himself aimed 
at between a philosopher and a 
statesman is shown to be unten 
able. The Pha?drus, on the con 
trary, 278 E sq., represents Socrates 
as expressing a hope that Isocrr.tes 
by virtue of the philosophic ten 
dency of his mind will not merely 

leave all other orators far behind, 
but perhaps himself also turn to 
philosophy. Spengel (Isocrates u. 
Platon. Abh. d. Mtinclmer Akad. 
philos.-philol. Kl. vii. 1855, p. 
729-769 ; cf. espec. 762 sq.) is cer 
tainly right in believing that the 
Phsedrus must have been written 
before the character of Isocrates 
had developed in that particular 
direction which Plato s defence in 
the Euthydemus challenges before 
the hope of still winning him over 
to the side of philosophy had 
vanished and before he had pub 
lished that series of attacks on the 
philosophers of his time (including 
Plato, though neither he nor any , 
other is named) which we have 
in the speeches against the 
Sophists, Hel. 1-7, Panath. 26-32, 
TT. di>Ti56<r. 195, 258 sq. Philipp. ! 
12. As Isocrates was born B.C. 
436, supposing the Phaedrus to 
have been composed 38 B.C., he 
had already, at the time of its; 
composition, attained an age to 
which this condition clearly no 
longer applied. The remark 
Steinhart, Plat. Leben, 181 sq., in 
tended to meet this conclusion, 
fails to carry conviction with it, 
as he finally supports his position 
with the mere assumption that 
neither was Plato in the Euthy 
demus thinking of Isocrates, n( 
Isocrates of Plato in the speed 
against the Sophists. 


succeeding that event, he discovered in the doctrine of 
ideas and belief in the soul s immortality the central 
point of his system, and thenceforward began, accord 
ing to the announcement in the Phaadrus, to develope 
his convictions in methodical progression. That these 
convictions became in course of time more clearly 
defined and more distinctly apprehended that the 
horizon of the philosopher gradually enlarged, and his 

method and form of expression to some extent altered . 

that his relation to the older schools was not throughout 
the same that it was long before his political, and 
far longer before his cosmical theories were completed 
as to detail ; all this we shall probably find, even if 
the traces of such a development should be less marked 
in his writings than it was in fact ; but the essential 
stand-point and general outlines of his doctrine must 
have been certain to him from the date indicated by 
the Phsedrus, Gorgias, Meno, and Thesetetus. 

It can hardly be doubted that the Symposium and 
Phaedo are later than the Phasdrus, and belong to a 
time when the philosophy of Plato, and also his ar 
tistic power, had reached full maturity ; 95 the Philebus, 
too, can scarcely be assigned to an earlier period. But 
the difficulty of determining the order of these dia 
logues with regard to one another, and the exact date 
of each, is so great that we cannot be surprised if 
the views of critics differ widely on these questions. 
Between those dialogues which definitely bring forward 

" Ast ami Soeher would place this supposition, however, has been 
the 1 beedo immediately after 80- sufficiently refuted supra 
crates death (suprn, lol, 25, 28): 


the doctrine of ideas and the eternal life of the soul, 
and those from which it is absent, there must be a 
considerable interval ; and if the former were for the 
most part not written till after the death of Socrates, 
we cannot venture to place either of the latter in the 
period closely succeeding that event. 

We may reasonably suppose that the dialogues 
primarily concerned with the delineation of Socrates 
and the Socratic philosophy, as Plato then apprehended 
it, may have been written" partly in Megara, partly 
after his return thence to Athens ; that he then went 
to Egypt and Gyrene; that during this journey or 
immediately after it he formed the views which led 
him decidedly beyond the Socratic stand-point, at any 
rate then first resolved to proclaim them by his mas 
ter s mouth ; and thus this second epoch of his literary 
activity might commence about four or five years after 
Socrates death. But all this is mere conjecture, and 
cannot be substantiated. 

Among the writings of this time the Phaodrus seems 
to be the earliest. 96 The Gorgias and Meno may have fol 
lowed ; their subject and treatment allying them, more 
than any dialogues of this class, to the Protagoras. 9 
From the well-known anachronism in the Meno, 9N it- 
would appear that this work was published not much later 
than 495 B.C. 99 The Theaetetus is connected with the 

m; My own arguments in favour expressly called 6 vvv vfwcrri ei\t]- 

of this supposition are given p. 130 <a>s ra Uo\vKpaTovs x/";uara, which 

B(]. : cf. 112 sq. in this case can only be said from 

v The Kuthydemus is omitted, the stand-point of the author, not 

for the reasons given on p. 84. of Socrates ; on the other hand, if 

08 (<f p 93 ; 3 the incident was still recent, and 

99 On the one hand Ismenias is Plato s indignation at it still fresh, 


Mono by its subject-matter ; the Meno (89 C sq. 96 D 
sqq.) reduces the question of the teachableness of virtue 
to the preliminary question, Is virtue knowledge ? but 
at the same time recognises that virtuous conduct can 
also spring from right opinion ; the Thesetetus enquires 
into the conception of knowledge, and its relation to 
right opinion. In point of date also, the Thesetetus 
seems to approximate to the Meno. For if it was not 
written at the time of the Corinthian war, we cannot 
place it much earlier than 368 B.C. 100 It is, however, 
very unlikely that Plato should at so late a period have 
thought so elementary an enquiry to be necessary, for 
we find him in other dialogues 101 treating the distinc 
tion of knowledge and opinion as a thing universally 
acknowledged, and of which it was sufficient merely to 
remind his readers. Yet if, on the other hand, we 
place the Theaetetus later than 368 B.C., the greater 
number of Plato s most comprehensive and important 
works must be crowded into the two last decades of 
his life: this is in hself not probable, and it becomes 
still less so when we remember that in these twenty 
years occurred the two Sicilian journeys, and the 
alteration in the Platonic philosophy spoken of by 
Aristotle; which latter is so entirely untraceable in 
the writings of Plato that we are forced to assign it to 
a later date. 102 It is therefore almost certain that the 

it can easily be imagined how he getlier with ^TTWT^/XTJ, 5<Ja and 

came to^ allow this remarkable afaOrjtrts appear, plainly the two 

anachronism. concepts, the separation of which 

00 Cf. p. 18, 31. from Knowledge is the suhjcct of 

11 Tim. 51 D so. ; Rep. v. 477 enquiry in the Thejetctus. 

A, E; vii. 53:5 E ; Symp. 202 A; 102 the Laws form an exception: 

also Parmen. 155 1), where, to- considering their general attitude 


Theastetus must have been written a short time after 
the Meno; most likely between 392 and 390 B.C. 103 
The Sophist is connected with the Theaetetus in a 
manner which seems to show that Plato not only meant 
in the former to refer his readers expressly to the 
latter, but also to prepare the way, in the conclusion 
of the Theretetus, for a further enquiry of a like 
nature. 104 The Politicus, too, is immediately connected 
with the Sophist ; 105 and there is in both dialogues the 
announcement of a third discussion on the conception 
of a philosopher; a promise which Plato, for some 
reason unknown to us, never fulfilled. If this is not 
sufficient to prove that all these dialogues were com 
posed in direct sequence, without the interruption of 

we cannot expect them to touch 
upon the metaphysics of Plato s 
later doctrines. 

103 The point which Ueberweg, 
Plat. Schrift. 227 sqq.^ lays stress 
upon in support of his own and 
Munk s supposition that the There- 
tctus was written before 368, seems 
to me much too uncertain to prove 
anything. On the contrary, it 
harmonizes very well with the 
common view, that Euclid and 
Theodoras play a part in the 
Thesetetus ; and with them, not 
long before the time assigned for 
the composition of the dialogue, 
Plato had had friendly intercourse. 
(, f. p. 18, 31. 

104 In the Thesetetus, after it has 
been shown that of the different 
definitions of Knowledge, ti 

fj-era \6yov, no one is sa 
tisfactory (210 A); Socrates says 
in conclusion that lie must now 

depart to the court; faOev Se, & 
Qcudwpe, Seupo iraXtv airavT^fJ-ev. 
In reference to this, the Sophist 
opens with the words of Theo 
dorus : Kara rty x^ s b/j.o\oyiai>, 
& 2w*7>aTes, -rJKO/Jiev. It is true, 
the concluding words of the There- 
tetus would not certainly esta 
blish any design of a continua 
tion in further dialogues (Bonitz, 
Plat. Stud. II., 41 in reference to 
the end of the Laches and Prota 
goras) ; but if Plato has connected 
them with such a continuation, 
we may in this case certainly sup 
pose that he refers to them in 
it: and, again, the beginning _of 
the Sophist would have been unin 
telligible to his readers if it was 
separated from the Thesetetus by 
a very great interval and by a 
scries of other dialogues. 

lor) Politicus, init. ; Sophist, 21G 
( sq. 


other works, it is at any rate clear that Plato when he 
undertook the Sophist had already planned the Politi 
cus, and he probably allowed himself no great delay in 
the execution of his design. We cannot be so certain 
about the Theastetus ; but it is unlikely that many 
years can have intervened between this dialogue and 
the Sophist ; and thus there is some ground for believ 
ing that the Sophist and Politicus also were composed 
before the first Sicilian journey, or about that time. 106 

in the observation that the move- of the Politicus to the Republic, 

ment in the Ideas maintained 
by the Sophist (vide on this 

at once falls to the ground when 
we consider that in the account of 

point, supra, note 42) must belong the theory of Ideas known to us 
to a later form of the doctrine from Aristotle the characteristic 
than the view of their ^ abso- of motion is wanting throughout, 

lute immutability which is im 
pugned therein. Still, however, 

and moreover this deficiency is 
expressly made an objection to the 

the question remains whether the doctrine (cf. Fart ii. b. 220, 2nd 
view attacked here is that known edit.) ; so that the Sophist cannot 
writings be considered as an exposition of 
Timaeus, the Ideas in their latest form, but 
as the transition to it. 
Uebefweg further (p. 290 sq.) 
thinks that he discerns in the 

Politicus, as well as in the Phredo, 

to us as Plato s from 

like the Phaedo, the , 

&c. (cf. p. 215 sq.), and whether merely 
the view of the Ideas as moving 
and animated, sinks into the 

background in the remaining din- _, .. -., 

, logues besides the Sophist (that it anthropological views which must 
1 is not quite wanting was shown be later than those of the Timaens. 
loc. citj, because he had not yet The incorrectness of this remark 
bund it out, or because it lay too will be proved later on (in chap 
ter out of the domhiant tendency tcr viii.). Finally Schaarschmidt 
W his thoughts, and the difficulty (Saminl. d. plat. Schrift. 239 sq.) 
bringing it into harmony with endeavours to point out in the 
Jther more important designs was same dialogue a whole series of 
Teat to allow him to follow it imitations of the Laws, but I 
cannot enter upon the theory here 
in detail ; I have, however, not 

Jut further; or whether \re have 
n the Sophist really a later form 

Jf the doctrine of Jdeas, and riot vnoan ^ a 

r an attempt (subsequently which he quotes, which contradicts 
bandoncd; to include motion in the [supposition that the Politicus 

found one out of all the 




The Parmenides refers to the Sophist, 107 the Philebus 
to the Parmenides ; 108 and both the Philebus and the 
Politicus 109 are presupposed by the Republic. 110 These 
dialogues must therefore have succeeded one another 
in the above order. 111 The precise date of each, and 
where the Euthydemus and Cratylus came in among 
them, cannot be ascertained ; the Symposium was pro- 

is one of Plato s works which pre 
ceded the Laws. 

107 1 have endeavoured to show 
the probability of this (in Plat. 
Stud. 186 sq. 192 sq.) by a com 
parison of Farm. 128 E sq. with 
Soph. 253 D, 251 A; Farm. 143 
A 13, 145 A with Soph. 244 B sq., 
254 1) sq. ; Farm. 133 C with 
Soph. 255 C. 

los Supra, 70, 56. 
109 With regard to the latter I 
shnll content myself with referring 
to Susemihl, Genet. Ent\v. ii. 303 
sq. and chapter viii. of this volume, 
and with the remark that there 
seems to me to be no occasion 
for the conjecture that we have it 
not in its original shape, but in a 
second elaboration (Alberti, Jahrb. 
f. Philol. Suppl. N. F. 1, 166 sq.) 

110 When it is said, Rep. vi. 
505 P>: dXXa pty r65e ye ol<r0a, 
OTL rots n-lv TroXXotj TjSovr) 8oKfl 
^, flvat rb dya.06v, rots 5e Ko^ore pots 
(J>p6vr)<ris, \\lien the question which 
forms the subject of the Philebus 
is thus discussed here as if it were 
a well-known one, and tho two 
theories there criticised at length 
are dismissed with a few remarks, 
we cannot help seeing here in the 
Repub. a direct allusion to the 
Philebus, just as in the above-cited 
passages of the latter we find an 
allusion to the Parmenides ; in the 
Phcedo, 72 E supra, p. 83, 91), to 

the Meno ; in the Laws, v. 739 B 
sq. (cf. Plat. Stud. 16 sq.) to tho 

111 Ueberweg, p. 204 sq., ob 
serves correctly that in the So 
phist, and in a still higher degree 
in the Philebus (to which the 
present work refers later on, in 
chapter vi.), there are many 
points of agreement with the later 
form of the doctrine of Ideas 
as represented by Aristotle. But 
it does not follow that these dia 
logues are later than all those in 
which these points of agreement dc 
not appear in the same way. As 
soon as the theory of Ideas arrived 
at a definite completion it must have 
also comprehended those views witb 
which its later form was connected 
but Plato would only have had oc 
casion to bring these views int( 
prominence if the doctrine of Idea. 1 
;is such had been propounded wit! 
the object of a dialectical discus 
sion ; while in expositions like th< 
Republic and the Tinueus, the chie 
object of which is the applicatioi 
of the theory of Ideas to the worh 
of morality and the world of nature 
they would not be mentioned. Ue 
berweg, however, himself remark 
of the Timreus that the construe 
tion of the world-soul goes on tin 
same lines as that in the Sophis 
and Philebus. Cf. also p. 137, 106 


.bly written in 08 1 lie., 11 - but this fact gives us little 
! help as to the chronology of the other works, since 
AV cannot with certainty determine the place of the 
.Symposium among the Platonic writings. Possibly 
Plato may have been prevented by his first Sicilian 
) :.. journey from completing the Trilogy of the Sophist, 113 
ind after the dialectical labour of the Parmenides he 
tnay have set aside his intended enquiry concerning the 
deal philosopher, and produced instead in the Sym 
posium and the Phaedo those matchless descriptions 
, .vhich show us in the one the wise man enjoying his 
ife, and in the other drawing near to death. 114 The 
Philebus forms the most direct preparation for the 
; Republic and the Timseus, and therefore we may sup- 
l.i 3ose that in order of time, too, it immediately preceded 
v i:hem. These two dialogues must certainly be assigned 
o Plato s maturity : 115 the only approximation we can 

,,, ir t 

- The mention (Symp. 193 A) Kepublic before bis first Sicilian 

f tbe Arcadi;m 8ioiKHT/j.6s, which, journey ; and in modern times 

cconling to Diodor. xv. 12, took there have been many scholars of 

lace in the autumn of Olymp. 98, note to support the assumption 

(3S5 B.C.), is probably to be ex- that Aristophanes in the Ecclesi- 

;j plained by supposing Plato to have a/.usie (01. 97, 1, B.C. 391) satirised 

1 A>een induced by the recent impres- the Platonic stale, getting his ma- 

jj iion of that event to commit an teiials either from the Kepublic or 

i;, tf inachronism tolerable only in the from orally delivered doctrines to 

, t ,jf nouth of Aristophanes, and under the same effect, We may name 

e it he influence of his overflowing Morgenstern, Spengcl, Bergk, Mei- 

>ujnoJ . neke, Tchorzewski, and others ; 

Supra, p. l:>7. vide the references apud Schnitzcr 

l It will be shown later on (in (Aristoph. AVerke x. 12G4 sq.) ; 

hap. ix.) that we have no reafcon Susemihl, loc. cit. ii 290. Jiut 

0r considering, with Uebenvcg, such a doubtful source as the 

;hat the Pluedo was later than the seventh letter cannot 1 c allowed 

,j rimseus. much weight; and with regard to 

5 The seventh Platonic letter Aristophanes, I can only agree with 

vide p. 17, 30) does actually Susemihl (to whom I content my- 

peak as if Plato had written the self with referring, as he gives the 



make to a more precise date is through the fact that 
the Critias has not only been handed down to us in an 
unfinished state, but was apparently never anything 
else than a fragment. 116 This phenomenon argues 
some external hindrance which prevented the com 
pletion of the work, and we are thus led to think of 

having arisen quite independently 
from the supposition of such a, 
community existing on Greek soil. 
Such particular instances must not 
be pressed too far, or we shall get at 
last a connection between Ecclesia- 
zusje, 670, ty 5 airodvy y auros 
8(b<rei, and the corresponding Gospel 
precept. There is nothing to be 
said for the supposition (Ueberweg, 
Plat. Schr. 212 sq.) that Aristo 
phanes had in his eye Plato s oral 
teaching, for in this case we should 
all the more expect something to 
point out that Praxagora was in 
debted to Plato for her knowledge, 
or at least (if Aristophanes had 
suddenly become too cautious to 
venture what others had ventured 
and could venture without any dan 
ger) to the Philosophers: it is, 
moreover, very improbable that 
Plato had at that time so far de 
veloped his theory of the State as 
to require community of wives and 
the participation of the women in 
war and government. Besides, 
there is the fact that Ueberweg 

views of his predecessors in full) 
that the Platonic Republic is not 
contemplated in the Ecclesiazusse. 
If the attack was aimed at some 
definite person, the poet, to make 
himself intelligible to the mass of 
his audience, would undoubtedly 
have marked out this person (in 
spite of the new laws against 
ridiculing people on the stage, 
which still did not restrain others 
from personalities against Plato, 
supra, p. 30, 82), as clearly as he 
had done in a hundred other cases. 
This is not done ; and in verse 578 
he says explicitly that these pro 
jects, which have been supposed 
to parody Plato, have never yet 
been set on foot. Nor do the con 
tents of the play necessitate any 
reminiscence of Plato ; broadly 
speaking, it is concerned, as the 
poet repeats and asserts beyond 
possibility of mistake, with the 
same moral and political circum 
stances as the Knights, Wasps, 
Lysistrata, and Thesmophoriazusse, 
in which there had been no altera 
tion since Thrasybulus was re 
stored. The community of women 
and goods is brought on the stage 
as a democratic extreme, not as the 
mere fancy of an aristocratic doc 
trinaire. The resemblance to Plato 
in some particular traits, e.g. verse 
590 sq., >35 sq., in my opinion 
(which differs from Susemihl s 
ii. 297) is not so special as to pre 
clude the possibility of these traits 

(loc. cit. 128) plainly makes Plato s 
activity as a teacher begin 3-4 
years, at earliest, after the represen 
tation of the Ecclesiazusaj. Again, 
Hep. v. 452 A, 45(5 (J, throughout 
contains no allusions to any plea 
santries which the comedians had 
already indulged in at the expense 
of his proposals. 
116 Supra, 49, 9. 


tlie two last Sicilian journeys and the troubles they 
entailed. 117 Even independently of this, we could 
hardly place the Republic and the Timseus later than 
the years in which those troubles occurred, or there 
would not have been time for Plato to write the Laws 
ind to modify his system, as Aristotle tells us he did. 
Supposing the Republic to have been finished before 
lit 1 second Sicilian journey, therefore in 370-368 K.r., 
ind the Critias to have been interrupted by the third 
ourney in 3G1-2 .c., 118 there would then be an interval 
sufficient for a comprehensive, thoughtful and artistic 
work like the former ; for studies preparatory to the 
rimaeus, which despite its deficiencies in natural 
science, and the help derived from Philolaus and other 
Dredecessors, must doubtless have occupied a consider- 
ible time; 119 and sufficient also to account for the 
striking difference in tone and style between the two 
iialogues a difference not so entirely dependent 
>n the diversity of their contents, 120 as to make a 
urther explanation, from the more advanced age of 
he author, unwelcome. 121 Plato s experiences in Syra- 

117 Suscmilil, CJenet. Kntw. ii. To which alone Susemihl 

0. }, agrees with this. would here suppose a reference. 

18 On the chronology cf. p. 32 121 The solemn dogmatic tone of 
n- the Timaeus ia partly connected 

19 Before writing the Republic, with purposed avoidance of a dia- 
J lato could not have entered upon lectical treatment, partly with the 
liese studies, at least it at that adoption of the Pythagorean Phy- 
ime he had not yet conceived the sics and the writings of Philo- 
lan of the Timrcus : and that this laus. Still, however, wo cannot 
i really so is likely from the fact maintain that these reasons ren- 
liat ^ the Republic contains no dered a lucid exposition throu^h- 
llusion to the persons who appear out impossible; and as, on The 
i the beginning of the Timaeus, other hand, in spite of the difference 
or to the dialogue carried on with of subject, similar traits are met 

, with in the Laws, we may con- 


cuse may have led him to abandon the further repre 
sentation of the ideal state, begun in the Critias aiK 
designed for Hermocrates ; and in its stead, after hi; 
own practical failure, to give account to himself am 
to the world, of the principles which must guide the 
philosopher in such enterprises; and also to enquire 
what means under existing circumstances are at his 
disposal. That this work -is later than the Bepublk 
and belongs to Plato s old age is beyond question ; 12: 
that he devoted much time to it is also evident, nol 
only because of its compass, which is greater than am 
other of his works, but from the mass of legislative 
detail it contains. The Republic too may have occu 
pied him for several years, and it is possible that the 
different parts may have appeared separately, but this 
theory has no trustworthy evidence to support it. 12 

jecture that they were in some statement not only lacks authcn- 
deTie at least owing to Plato s ticity, but carries with it its own 
advancing years and increasing refutation. Neither at the end 
inclination to Pythagorean specu- of the second book of the De 
lations, public nor in any other passage 

ii -\Ve shall speak with greater between the beginning of the first j 

detail on this point later on (in and the end of the third is there: 

chap. xi.). Provisionally may be a single paragraph which could I 

compared, besides the statements justify the supposition of a special 

quoted pp. 138, 110: 03, 2, the publication of the part so far 

assertion (in Ding. iii. 37, Suid. finished, and so much at least must 

4>iX6cro$os. HpoXeybfj-eva T. TTXcir. have appeared to induce Xenophon 

4>iXo(r. c. 24) that Philippus of to write the Cyropaedia ; Gelling, 

Opus published the Laws from a however, openly presupposes our 

rough draft of Plato s. division of the books, ^already 

^ ]ts only authority is in the familiar to Thrasyllus (Diog. iii. 

assertion quoted p. 92, 1, in Gel- 57). Compare on these questions 

lius, that Xenophon composed the Susennhl, Genet. Entw. ii. 88 

Cyroprcdia in opposition to the sq., whose judgment is more cor-j 

Platonic State, lectis ex eo duobus rect than Ueberweg s, Plat. Schr. j 

i ere libris qui primi in volgus 212. 
exierant. But this anonymous 


y- Nor is there any proof or likelihood that he recast the 
!i dialogue a second time. 124 Modern critics have en- 
fa: deavoured to separate the first and last book from the 
. .: irest of the work, but neither tradition nor valid inter- 
Li nal evidence favours the supposition; while on the 
ither hand the artistic and essential unity which 
ppcars throughout is an unanswerable argument to 
be contrary. 125 

^ 1 - 1 According to Diog. iii. 37 
luphorio and Pametius reported : 
oXXd/as (> evpTJaOai rj]v 
9Xn v T ns TToXtreiay. Dionys. De 
omp. verb. p. 208 f. R; and 
uintil. viii. 0, 04, says more pre- 
st- ly : the first four (or according 
) Dion the first eight) words of the 
epublic were written in many 
iflerent arrangements, on a tablet 
und after Plato s death. But from 
lat we cannot with Dionysius, 
c. cit., go so far as to conclude 
uvt Plato was engaged in polishing 
s writings up to the time of his 
2ath ; we plainly have here to do 
ither with an experiment before 
iblication to sec how the opening 
ords would look in different posi- 
ons. Still less must we magnify 
icse corrections of style into a 
paratc revision of the whole 

25 It was, as is well known, Her- 
ann, Plat. i. 537 sq., who put 

ward the assertion that the first 
>ok was originally a s -paratc and 
dependent work of Plato s first 

Socratic period, and was after- 
irds prepared as an introduction 
the Ivepublic, and that the tenth 
ok was only added after a longer 
riod. Also that the 5th, Oth, 

and 7th books were inserted be 
tween the 4th and the 8th book by 
way of a supplement. However, 
he has not shown much care in sub 
stantiating this sweeping assertion. 
I will not here enter into particu 
lars, because Hermann s assump 
tion has already been tested, with 
especial reference to the first book, 
by Steinhart, PI. "W. v. 07 sq., 
675 sq., and Husemihl, Genet. 
Kntw. ii. 05 sqq. I would only 
point out that the end (x. 008 
C sq.) is already prepared for in 
the introduction (i. 330 D). The 
discussion on Justice, to which 
the whole of Ethics and Politics is 
subordinated, starts from the re 
mark, that only the just man 
awaits the life in the world to 
come with tranquillity ; and at the 
end ^it returns, after settling all 
the intermediate questions, to the 
starting point, to find its sublime 
conclusion in the contemplation of 
reward in the world to come. This 
framework at once proves that wo 
have to deal with a single self- 
consistent work, which, with all its 
freedom in working out the details 
and additions during the process 
of elaboration, is still designed in 
accordance with a definite plan. 





THE Platonic philosophy is on the one side the com- 
pletion of the Socratic ; but on the other, an extension 
and an advance upon it. As Socrates in his philosophic 
enquiries concerned himself with the moral quite as 
much as with the intellectual life as with him right 
action was inseparably united with right cognition, 
philosophy with morality and religion, being indeed 
one and the same thing so is it in Plato ; and as the 
aim of the one philosopher was to ground intelligen 
and conduct on conceptual knowledge, so to the otli 
the standard of all action and of all convictions is the 
contemplation of universal ideas. Plato s views con 
cerning the problem and principle of philosophy thus 
rest entirely on a Socratic basis. But that which had 
been with Socrates only a universal axiom became with 
Plato a system ; that which the former had laid down 
as the principle of knowledge was announced 
the latter as the principle of metaphysics. Socra 
had sought that conceptual knowledge for which 
claimed existence, but he had only reduced to thei 
primary concept particular activities and phenome 


in connection with the given case. He had never 
attempted to gain a whole from scientifically combined 
concepts, and thus to explain the totality of the Real. 
He confined himself on principle to ethical enquiries, 
and even these he pursued, not systematically, but in 
a merely inductory manner. It was Plato who first 1 
expanded the Socratic philosophy into a system, com 
bined its ethics with the earlier natural philosophy, 
and founded both in dialectics, or the pure science of 
ideas. But the necessity immediately became apparent 
of a principle not only to guide thought in the scien 
tific method, but also to interpret material things in 
their essence and existence. Plato, in transcending 
the Socratic ethics, transcends also the Socratic accep 
tation of conceptual knowledge. The cognition of 
ideas, Socrates had said, is the condition of -all true 
knowledge and right action. Therefore, concludes 
Plato, logical thought is alone true knowledge. All 
other ways of knowing presentation, envisagement 
afford no scientific certainty of conviction. But if the 
knowledge of the idea is alone real knowledge, this 
can only bo, according to Plato, because that alone 
is a knowledge of the Heal ; because true Being be 
longs exclusively to the essence of things presented 
in the idea, and to all else, in proportion only as it 
participates in the idea. Thus the idealizing of tha 
concept, which with Socrates had been a logical postu 
late involving a certain scientific dexterity, dialectical 
impulse, and dialectical art, was now raised to the 
objective contemplation of the world, and perfected 
into a* ay stem. 



This, however, was impossible without introducing 
a sharper discrimination between intellectual and moral 
activity. Their direct and unconditional unity, which 
Socrates had demanded, can only be maintained so 
long as no advance is made beyond his general view of 
the two-sided problems. The moment we proceed to 
particulars either, on the one hand, examining the con 
ditions of scientific thought, and directing that thought 
to subjects of no immediate moral import ; or, 011 the 
other, fixing the attention more steadily on that which 
is peculiar to moral activities and their various mani 
festations we can no longer conceal from ourselves 
that there is a difference, as well as a connection, be 
tween knowledge and action. It will be shown here 
after that this difference forced itself upon Plato too : 
herein, however, as in his whole conception of philo 
sophy, he is far less widely separated than Aristotle 
from his master. He distinguishes more sharply than 
the one between the moral direction of the will and 
scientific cognition, but does not therefore, like the 
other, moke philosophy an exclusively theoretical ac 
tivity. He completes the Socratic ethics not only 
with dialectical but with physical investigations : the 
latter, however, never prosper in his hands ; and what 
ever may be the obligations of this branch of en 
quiry to Plato, it is certain that his genius and 
zeal for natural science were far inferior to those of 
Aristotle, and that his achievements in this department 
bear no comparison with those of his scholar, either in 
extent of knowledge, acuteness of observation, exact 
ness of interpretation, or fruitfulness of result. He 


gives to concepts, as separate substances, the reality 
of Ideas ; but in holding Ideas to be the only reality, 
and material things, as such, to be devoid of essence, 
and non-existent, he makes impossible to himself the 
explanation of the phenomenal world. He perfects the 
conceptual philosophy into a system, but is not im 
pelled, like his successor, to enter deeply into par 
ticulars : to^jiim the idea only is the true object of 
thoughtj the individual phenomenon possesses no in- 
teivst. He can indeed make use of it to bring to light 
the idea in which it participates, but that thorough 
completeness with which Aristotle works his way through 
empirical data is not his concern. The study of par 
ticulars seemsjto_him_scarcely more than an intellectual 
pastime, and if he has for a while occupied himself with 
it, he always returns, as if wearied out, to the contem 
plation of pure ideas^ In this respect also, he stands 
midway between Socrates and Aristotle; between the 
philosopher who first taught the development of the 
concept from presentation or envisagement, and him 
who more completely than any other Greek thinker has 
carried it into all the spheres of actual existence. In 
the same proportion, however, that Plato advanced 
beyond Socrates, it was inevitable that he should go 
back to the pre-Socratic doctrines, and regard as his 
co-disciples those who were then seeking to apply those 
theories to the perfecting of the Socratic doctrine. To 
what an extent he did both is well known. Plato is 
the first of the Greek philosophers who not merely 
knew and made use of his predecessors, but consciously 
completed their principles by means of each other, and 



bound them all together in one higher principle. What 
Socrates had taught with regard to the coiiceptT~oT 
knowledge ; Parmenides and Heraclitus, the Megarians 
and Cynics, on the difference between knowledge and 
opinion ; Heraclitus, Zeno, and the Sophists, on the 
subjectivity of sense perception all this he built up j 
into a developed theory of knowledge. The Eleatic 
principle of Being, and the Heraclitean of Becoming, 
the doctrine of the unity and that of the multiplicity 
of things, he has, in his doctrine of Ideas, quite as 
much blended as opposed ; while at the same time he has 
perfected both by means of the Anaxagorean conception 
of Spirit, the Megaro-Socratic conception of the Good, 
and the idealised Pythagorean numbers. These latter, 
properly understood, appear in the theory of the World- 
soul, and the mathematical laws, as the mediating ele 
ment between the idea and the world of sense. Their 
one element, the concept of the Unlimited, held 
absolutely and combined with the Heraclitean view 
of the sensible world, gives the Platonic definition 
of Matter. The cosmological part of the Pythagorean 
system is repeated in Plato s conception of the uni 
verse : while in his theory of the elements and of 
physics proper, Empedocles and Anaxagoras, and more 
distantly the Atomistic and older Ionic natural philo 
sophies, find their echoes. His psychology is deeply . 
coloured with the teaching of Anaxagoras on the 
immaterial nature of mind, and with that of Pytha 
goras on immortality. In his ethics, the Socratic basis 
can as little be mistaken as, in his politics, his sym 
pathy with the Pythagorean aristocracy. Yet Plato 


is neither the envious imitator that calumny has called 
him, nor the irresolute eclectic, who only owed it to 
favouring circumstances that what was scattered about 
in earlier systems united in him to form a harmonious 
whole. We may say more truly that this blending of 
the rays of hitherto isolated genius into one focus is the 
work of his originality and the fruit of his philosophic 
principle. The Socratic conceptual philosophy is from 
| the outset directed to the contemplation of things in 
all their aspects, the dialectic combination of those 
various definitions of which now one, and now another, 
is mistaken by a one-sided apprehension for the whole 
to the reduction of the multiplicity of experience to 
its permanent base. 1 Plato applies this method uni 
versally, seeking not merely the essential nature of 
moral activities, but the essential nature of the Heal. 
He is thus inevitably directed towards the assumptions 
of his predecessors, which had all started from some 
true perception ; but while these assumptions had re 
lated entirely and exclusively to one another, Plato s 
scientific principles required that he should fuse them 
all into a higher and more comprehensive theory of 
the world. As therefore Plato s knowledge of the 
earlier doctrines gave him the most decided impulse 
in the development of the Socratic teaching, it was 
conversely that development which alone enabled 
him to use, the combined achievements of the other 
philosophers for his own system. The Socratic con 
ceptual philosophy was transplanted by him into the 
fruitful and well-tilled soil of the previous natural 
1 Cf, Part i. page 93, 95 sqq. 


philosophy, thence to appropriate to itself all kindred 
matter ; and in thus permeating the older speculation 
with the spirit of Socrates, purifying and reforming it 
by dialectic, which was itself extended to metaphysical 
speculation, in thus perfecting ethics by natural phi 
losophy, and natural philosophy by ethics Plato has 
accomplished one of the greatest intellectual creations 
ever known. Philosophy could not indeed permanently 
remain in the form then given to it. Aristotle soon 
made very essential alterations in the theories of his 
master; the older Academy itself could not maintain 
them in their purity, and the later systems that thought 
to reproduce the system of Plato were self-deceived. 
But this is precisely Plato s greatness, that he was 
able to give the progress of Philosophy an impulse so 
powerful, so far transcending the limits of his own 
system, and to proclaim the deepest principle of all 
right speculation the Idealism of thought with such 
energy, such freshness of youthful enthusiasm, that to 
him, despite all his scientific deficiencies, belongs the 
honour of for ever conferring philosophic consecration 
on those in whom that principle lives. 

In Plato s scientific method, also, we recognise the 
deepening, the purification and the progress of the So- 
cratic philosophy. From the principle of conceptual 
knowledge arises, as its immediate consequence, that dia 
lectic of which Socrates must be considered the author. 2 
But while Socrates contented himself with developing 

2 The dialectic of Zeno and the dialectic as a real agent in defining 
Sophists differs in being concerned the concept, 
with refutation only: Socrates uses 


the concept out of mere envisagement, Plato further de 
manded that conceptual science should be drawn out by 
methodical classification into a system ; while Socrates, 
in forming concepts, starts from the contingencies of the 
given case, and never goes beyond the particular, Plato 
requires that thought shall rise, by continued analysis, 
from conditioned to unconditioned, from the phenome 
non to the idea, from particular ideas to the highest and 
most universal. The Socratic dialectic only set itself 
to gain the art of right thinking for the immediate use 
of individuals to purify their crude presentations into 
concepts : the practice of dialectic was therefore at the 
same time education ; intellectual and moral activity 
coincided, as much for the work of the philosopher in 
itself as for its effect on others. The Platonic dialectic, 
on the other hand, was subservient to the formation of a 
system : it has, therefore, as compared with the Socratic, 
larger outlines and a more fixed form. AVhat in the one 
was a matter of personal discipline, in the other becomes 
conscious method reduced to general rules ; whereas 
the former aimed at educating individuals by true con 
cepts, the latter seeks out the nature and connection 
of concepts in themselves : it enquires not merely into 
moral problems and activities, but into the essential 
nature of the Real, proposing as its end a scientific * 
representation of the universe. But Plato does not go 
so far in this direction as Aristotle ; the technicalities 
of logic were not formed by him, as by his pupil, into 
an exact, minutely particularising theory ; neither for 
the derivation nor for the systematic application of 
concepts does he summon to his aid such a mass of 


experimental material. He cares far less for that equal 
spread of scientific knowledge into all departments 
which Aristotle desired, than for the contemplation of 
the idea as such. He regards the Empirical partly as 
a mere help to the attainment of the Idea a ladder to 
be left behind if we would gain the heights of thought ; 
partly as a type of the nature and inherent force 
of the ideas a world of shadows, to which the Philo 
sopher only temporarily descends, forthwith to return 
into the region of light and of pure being. 3 Whereas, 
therefore, Socrates in the main confines himself to a 
search for concepts, the cognition of which is for him 
moral education ; whereas Aristotle extends induction 
and demonstration, purely in the interests of science, 
over alj the Actual, the special peculiarity of Plato 
is that Amoral education, intellectual teaching, and, in 
science itself, the formation of concepts and their 
development, in spite of partial separation, are yet, 
with him, internally held together and united by 
their common aim, both leading to that contempla 
tion of the idea, which is at the same time life in 
the idea. 4 This position is not indeed invariable. We 
see, in the dialogues, Socratic induction at first de 
cidedly predominating over the constructive element, 
then both intermingling, and, lastly, inductive prepara 
tion receding before systematic deduction ; correspond 
ing to which there is also a gradual change from the 
form of conversation to that of continued exposition. 
But the fundamental character of the method is never 

J Vide_ especially Eep. vi. oil 4 ff. my Plat. Stud. p. 23 sq. 
A sq. ; vii. 514 A sqq. 


effaced ; and however deeply Plato may sometimes go 
into particulars, his ultimate design is only to exhibit 
with all possible clearness and directness the Idea 
shining through the phenomenon ; to point out its 
reflection in the finite ; to fill with its light not only 
the intellect, but the whole man. 

This speciality in the philosophy of Plato explains 
the form which he selected for its communication. 
An artistic nature was indispensable for the produc 
tion of such a philosophy ; conversely, this philo 
sophy would infallibly demand to be informed artis 
tically. The phenomenon, placed in such direct rela 
tion to the idea, becomes a beautiful phenomenon ; 
the perception of the idea in the phenomenon an 
aesthetic perception. 5 Where science and life so com 
pletely interpenetrate one another, as with Plato, 
science can only impart itself in lively description ; 
and as the communicating medium is ideal, this de 
scription will necessarily be poetical. At the same 
time, however, the exposition must be dialectical, 
if it is to correspond with the subject matter of 
conceptual philosophy. .Plato satisfies both these re 
quirements in the philosophic dialogue, by means of 
which he occupies a middle position between the per 
sonal converse of Socrates and the purely scientific con 
tinuous exposition of Aristotle. The Socratic conver 
sation is here idealised, the contingency of its motives 

5 It is thus (says Plato him- fi Aiisiotle chose the dialogue 

self in the Phiedrus, 250 P>, I) ; form only for popular writings, and 

Symp. ^L 06 D) that the philo- apparently only in his Platonic 

sophic idea first dawns upon the period, 


and conduct is corrected by a stricter method the 
defects of personalities are covered by artistic treat 
ment. Yet the speciality of verbal intercourse, the 
reciprocal kindling of thought, is still retained. Phi 
losophy is set forth, not merely as a doctrine, but 
as a living power, in the person of the true philo 
sopher, and a moral and artistic effect is thus pro 
duced, of a kind that would have been impossible to 
bare scientific enquiry. Unbroken discourse is doubt 
less better suited to the latter ; and Plato himself shows 
this, for in proportion as his scientific discussions gain 
in depth and scope, they lose in freedom of conversa 
tional movement. In the earlier works, this freedom 
not unfrequently disturbs the clearness of the logic, 
while in the dialectical dialogues of the middle order 
it is more and more subordinated to the logical deve 
lopment of thought. In the later writings, dialogue is 
indeed employed with the accustomed skill for intro 
ductory discussions or personal delineations; 7 but so 
far as the exposition of the system is concerned it 
sinks into a mere form, and in the Timaeus is discarded 
at the very commencement. 8 We need not, with Her 
mann, 9 conclude from this that the form of dialogue 
had for Plato a merely external value ; that, in fact, it 
was like some favourite and traditional fashion of dress 

7 E.g. in the Symposium, Phaedo, adapted for dialogic exposition, 
and first two books of the Re- This does not really contradict 
public. what has been observed above. 

8 Of., on Plato s oral instruction, Even where dialogue is employed 
pp. 25-2, and Hermann, Plat. 352. throughout, there are many parts 
Steinhart (Plat. "W. vi. 44) explains open to the same objection. 

the withdrawal of the dialogue form 9 Loc. cit. 352, 354 sq. Ges. 
in the Timseus and Critias by say- Abhdl. 285 sqq. 
ing that their subject was not 



inherited from his predecessors, adopted in his first 
attempts as a Socratic pupil, and then adhered to out 
of piety and loyal attachment, in opposition to general 
usage. He certainly had an external motive for the 
choice of this form in the conversations of his master, 
and a pattern for its artistic treatment in dramatic 
poetry, especially such as dealt with reflections, morals, 
and manners, like that of Epicharmus, 10 Sophron, 11 and 
Euripides; but it cannot be proved 12 chat before his 
time dialogue was already much in vogue for philoso 
phic exposition ; and even if it could, we might still 
be sure that Plato, independent and creative as he 
was, and endowed with rare artistic feeling, would 

10 Vide vol. i. page 362 sqq. 

11 (If. page 8, note 11. 

passage Suckow s Form. d. Plat. 
Schr. p. 50 sq.). And this solitary 

12 Zeno, Sophron, and Alexa- instance of dialogue being used 
menus of Teos are named as pre- before Plato by a writer so little 
decessors of Plato. It is hardly known and so unimportant cannot 
probable, however, that Zeno used go far to prove that the dialogic 

the dialogue form (vide vol. i. page " " " "* 

494) ; the Prolegomena, c. 5, end, 
name Parmenides with him : an 
addition no doubt due to the Pla 
tonic Parmenides. Of Sophron, 
whom Diogenes (iii. 18} says he 
copied, Aristotle remarks (Poetics, 
c. 1, 1447, b. .)): ovScv yap av tx l V* 

H S Kal T0l)s Zw/C/HXTl- 

ATOI)S \6yovs. These mimes may 

treatment of philosophic material 
was established and popular. 
Indeed, it only became so through 
the Socratic school, in which the 
dialogue form was common enough. 
Vide Part i. pp. 198, 1; 204, S; 
205, 8 ; 20(>, 1 ; 207, 2 ; 242, 7 ; 
not to speak of the Memorabilia 
(with regard to the Diatribes of 
Aristippus, we do not know whe 
ther they were composed in dia- 

indeed have been written in prose logne form ; and we" are equally 
(Arist. ap. Athen. xi. 505 ( ), but ignorant w 

sire no proof of the existence of 
philosophic dialogues. Finally, 
Alt x.umnus may have written 
Socratic conversations ; but they 
must have been very unlike the 
Platonic dialogues, as Aristotle 

hethcr his twenty-five 
dialogues were genuine : v. p. 298\ 
It is plain that the prevalence of 
dialogue in the Socratic school was 
due to its master. Perhaps, how 
ever, when Plato wrote his first 
pieces, there were not, as yet, many 

(ap. Athen. loc. cit.) classes them Socratic dialogues extant. Xeii. 
Sophron s mimes as prose Mem. iv. 3, 2, cannot be alleged to 


tales, \6yoi KO.I 

cf. on the prove the opposite. 


never on such purely external grounds have held to a 
form all his life long, even when it was most irksome 
to him ; that mere antiquity would not have deter 
mined him in its choice, nor custom in its persistent 
employment, unless there had been the closest internal 
connection between that form and his whole concep 
tion of philosophy. What this connection was Plato 
himself points out, 13 when in the Phaedrus (275 D) 
he censures writing, as compared with speech, with 
its inability to defend itself, and its openness to all 
attacks and misconceptions ; for if this censure holds 
good of written exposition in general, Plato must have 
been conscious that even his dialogues could not en 
tirely escape it. Yet, on the other hand, his convic 
tion of the advantages of speech presupposes the de 
sign of appropriating as far as possible those advantages 
to his writing, that image of the living and animated 
word; 14 and if those advantages, in Plato s opinion, 
depend upon the art of scientific dialogue, 15 we may 

13 Cf. Schleicrmacher, Plat. W. Cratylus, 390 0), from the etymo- 
i. a. 17 sqq. ; Brandis, Gr.-rom. logy given in Pliilebus, 57 E ; Kcp. 
Phil. vi. a. 154, 158 sqq. vii. 532 A ; vi. 511 B (against 

14 Phsedrus, 276 A. which the derivation ap. Xen. 

15 Phaedrus, 276 E: iro\v 5 ofyiat, Mem. iv. 5, 12, proves nothing), 
Ka\\i(t)v crirov5i] Trept airra yiyvcrai, and from the opposition hetween 
6rav Tis r?7 StaXe/crtKf; rex"V XP&- dialectic and rhetoric, in the 
fjievos Xa/3i!;j> "^w^v irpoar)Kovaav Phffidrus, loc. cit. And this is 
(pi/revy re nai ffirdprj /ter eiriffT-r]- expressly affirmed in the Prota- 
/z?7S Xctyoi/j, &c. Dialectic is first gor^is, p. 328 E sqq., where people 
defined by Plato (Phtedr. 266 are censured for purely continuous 
B) only as the art of forming discourse, because, like books, they 
logical concepts and of making cannot either answer or ask ques- 
divisions. Its most suitable form tions, and are therefore deficient 
was dialogue, as we may tee from in those advantages which the 
the explanation of StaXc/crtKTj as the Phrodrus ascribes to oral instriic- 
art of scientific question and an- tion (Hermann s infelicitous con- 
swer (Rep. vii. 531 E, 534 B, D ; jecture, ovx &<rirep /3i/3Mo, com- 


reasonably derive from this his own application of that 
art. But the dialogues themselves manifest beyond 
possibility of mistake the design of compelling the 
reader, by their peculiar form, to the independent 
origination of thoughts. Why should there so often 
be found in them, after the destruction of imaginary 
knowledge by the essentially Socratic method of prov 
ing ignorance, only isolated and apparently uncon 
nected lines of enquiry ? why should some of these be 
hidden by others? why should the argument at last 
resolve itself in apparent contradictions ? unless Plato 
presupposes his reader to be capable of completing 
by his own active participation what is wanting in 
any given enquiry, of discovering the central point 
in that enquiry, and of subordinating all the rest to 
that one point presupposes also that only such a 
reader will attain any conviction of having understood 
at all/ lc The above-named peculiarities are un 
favourable to the systematic objective development of 
science. Since, therefore, Plato has employed them 
with the most consummate art and the most deliberate 
intention, he must have had a special reason for it. 
and this can only be that he considered objective expo 
sition as generally insufficient, and sought instead for 
some other manner which should stimulate the reader 
to possess knowledge as a self-generated thing, in which 
objective instruction should be conditioned by previous 

pletely misses the sense of the to the Sophistic declamations- cf 

passage). The dialogue is accord- 334 C sqq. 

ingly recommended (348 C) as the " A quotation from Brandis, 

best medium of instruction, and loc. cit. 159 sqq., with which I 

the retention of the dialogue form fully ngree. 

repeatedly insisted on, as opposed 


subjective culture. If this were the design of Plato, 
and he were at the same time convinced that the form 
of dialogue suited it better than continuous discourse, 
it naturally follows that he would select that form 
for his writings. Thought is to him a conversation 
of the soul with itself ; 17 philosophic communica 
tion, an engendering of truth in another ; the logical 
element is therefore essentially dialogical. His writ 
ings, too, were probably in the first instance designed, 
not for the general public, 18 but for his friends, to whom 
he himself would have imparted them : they were in 
tended to remind those friends of the substance of the 
scientific conversations he was accustomed to carry on 
with them, or perhaps as a substitute for these. 19 
What therefore could be more natural than that he 
should adopt the form of their usual intercourse that 
of the Socratic dialogue ? 20 Stricter science, in the 
sequel, wisely abandoned this form ; but for Plato it 
was according to nature, and he stands alone and im- 
approached among all writers of philosophic dialogues, 

17 Sophist, 2G3 K: Sidvoia writings had attained a circulation 
KO.I Ao-yos ravTov TT\T]V 6 fj.ev evrbs extending beyond his own school 
rijs if/vxfy irpbs O.VTTII> 8id\oyos &vev before his death. After that 

yevo/j.evos TOUT avrb -rjfuv event, Hermodorus is taxed with 

r) didvoia . . TO 5 7 air having made a trade of selling 

fjia Sia TOV <rr6;uaTos LOV Plato s writings ; cf. the passages 

/X.CTOI <f>66y*yov KK\t]Tai \6yos. Cf. quoted in chapter xiv. 

Theajt. 189 E. 9 Vide p. 112. 

18 There was as yet no book- - From their original determina- 
Kelling in our sense of the term, tion in this form we can partly ex- 
althotigh the first beginnings of it plain the freedom with which Plato 
seem to come in that period. The in his dialogues makes use of and 
usual method of making a work characterises living personages of 
known was by means of recitation, his acquaintance, e.g. his brothers 
which method Plato would have in the Keptiblic, and in the intro- 
employed (vide p. 27, 50). The duction to the Parmenides. 
question arises whether Plato s 


before and after him, because in the case of no other 
writer did the conditions under which his dialogues 
were produced exist in similar measure in his person 
that rare combination of intellectual and artistic gifts, 
in his philosophy that equal perfection and inner fusion 
of the theoretical and practical, of the philosophic 
Eros, and of dialectic. 

The central point of the dialogues is Socrates. Not 
only does he appear in most of them as the leader in 
conversation, in the rest as an acute and important 
listener and occasional speaker, but his personality is 
pre-eminently the bond which artistically unites the 
several pieces ; and some of the most powerful and most 
delightful of the dialogues are devoted quite as much 
to the painting of this personality as to the philosophic 
development of doctrine. 21 This trait is primarily a 
tribute of gratitude and veneration offered by the dis 
ciple to his master. Plato is conscious that he owes 
bo Socrates what is best in his spiritual life, and, under 
this conviction, gives back to him in his writings the 
loblest fruits of the borrowed seed as his own. That 
Socrates should be brought forward was necessary, too, 
:>n artistic grounds; for the unity of the Platonic doc 
trine, and the intimate connection of all the writings 
devoted to it, could in no way be more artistically re 
presented than by their association with one and the 
same personality ; and that the personality of Socrates 
was far more suitable than any other ; that a nobler, 
pleasanter picture a picture more capable of idealisa- 

21 Socrates is only omitted in urn! the omission is but one of its 
ue Laws, the last of Plato s works; peculiarities. 


tion resulted from Plato s placing his opinions in the 
mouth of Socrates, instead of enunciating them him 
self, needs no proof. 

His procedure has doubtless another and a deeper 
reason, rooted in the foundations of his manner of 
thought. Philosophy, according to his acceptation, 
being not merely a set of doctrines but the perfecting 
of the whole spiritual life ; and science, not a finished, 
communicable system, apart from the person that knows, 
but personal activity and mental development, true 
philosophy could only be represented in the perfect 
philosopher, in the personality, words, and demeanour 
of Socrates. 22 This view of philosophy is closely con 
nected with another trait, by which Plato s literary 
individuality is marked with special clearness. This is 
his employment of myths, which he loves to combine 
with philosophic enquiry, and especially to bring for 
ward for the opening or conclusion of a discussion. 2 

-- Of. the striking observations 203 A sq.. the begetting of Kros 

of IJauV, in his Socrates and Kepublic, Hi. 414 V sqq., tnpl 

Christ, Tubingen Journal, 1837, classification of men ;- I lirodrue 

.",,97-121. --*I5 A sqq.; Meno, 81 A sqq. 

>23 I subjoin for convenience sake (Jorgias, 52, ) A sqq.; Phredo, 1 

a list of all that properly belongs to P> sqq. ; Kepublic, x. 614 1> sq 

this class : Protagoras, 320 sqq., Timseus, 41 A sqq., the Nnil, it 

on Prometheus and Epimetheus pre-existence, wanderings, its con 

and the origin of political virtue, dition hereafter, its recollection o 

perhars from some writing of previous perceptions. Ihe^vhol 

Protagoras ; v. vol. i. page 575 investiture of the Timrcus is ais 

sq Politicus, 269 C sqq., the mythic the Demiurgus, togcthe 

changing world-periods : cf. the with the subordinate gods, and a 

Laws iv. 713, 13 sq., for a short the history of the creation ot tin 

mvthic picture of the Golden Age; world; so is the Name-giver c 

Tinifeus 21 A sq., and Critias,the the Cratylns. I shall go more at 

cosmic revolutions, the Atlantides, length into the import of these 

and Athenians ; Symposium, 189 myths in their proper places. 

D sq., Aristophanes tale of how The short narratives ot the Cicadai 

the difference in sex arose ; Ibid, and of Theuth have no esoteric 

Here, however, another motive comes into play. On 
the one side, the mythus is the expression of the re 
ligious and poetical character of the Platonic philo 
sophy. 21 Plato makes use of the traditions of the 
popular faith and of the mysteries (in which beneath 
the veil of fable he divines a deeper meaning) for the 
artistic representation of his ideas; he also extends and 
multiplies them by original inventions, which rise from 
the transparent personification of philosophic concep 
tions, into lively epic description fully and exuberantly 
drawn out. But, on the other side, the mythus is not 
a mere garment, thrown over a thought that had pre 
viously existed in a purely scientific shape; in many.-j.) 
cases it is for Plato a positive necessity, and his/ 
masterly use of it is a consequence of the fact, that he 
does not turn back upon the path of reflection to seek 
a picture for his thought, but that from the very out 
set, like a creative artist, he thinks in pictures: that 
the mythus does not reiterate that which the author 
has elsewhere dialectically expressed, but seizes by 
anticipation, as with a presentiment, that for which 
logical expression is still wanting. The Platonic 
myths, in short, almost always point to a gap in 
scientific knowledge: they are introduced where some 
thing has to be set forth, which the philosopher indeed 
acknowledges as true, but which he has no means of 

reference to philosophic doctrines, of which a myth could be con- 

Phredr. 250 A sq. 274 C sq. The structed, but the narrative form is 

legend of Gyges, Uep. xi. 359 D wanting. 

sq., is used by Plato for the elu- - 4 On the religious signification 

cidation of a position, but is not of the Platonic myths, cf. P>aur, 

introduced in his own name. Hep. loc. cit. HI sqq. ; Theol. Stud. u. 

"" 514 sqq. is an allegory, out Krit. 1837, 3, 552 sqq. 


establishing scientifically. 25 This takes place chiefly 
in two cases : (1) when it is required to explain the 
origin of material things, the methodical derivation 
of which is impossible, according to the presupposi 
tions of Plato s system; 26 and (2) when circumstances 
are to be described which have no analogy with our 
present experience, and which cannot be more exactly 
delineated. The first is found in the mythological 
cosmogony of the Timseus ; 27 the second in the nar 
rations concerning the future life and the primeval 
history of man ; for the essential purport of these 
latter is also the determination of the state in which 
human society would find itself under altered, ideal 
conditions. When Plato in these cases adopts the 
mythical representation, he indirectly confesses that 
his ordinary style would be impossible to him. Hi 
myths are consequently not only a proof of his ar 
tistic ability, and an effect of the intimate relatio 
still subsisting between his philosophy and his poetry 
but they also betray the boundaries of his methodic 
thought. However admirable in themselves, therefore, 
they are, in a scientific point of view, rather a sign of 

25 Plato himself shows this in general sense. This cannot be 

his eschatologic myths: Phoedo, got out of Plato s words, ^and 

114 D ; Gorg. 523 A, 527 A ; and is in itself mistaken. _ The signi- 

Timreus, 29 D, 59 C, he speaks of fication of a myth is bimply what- 

the et /cws i*.v6o<>. Stmnpf. (Yerh. ever the author wishes to express 

d. Plat. Gott. z. idee d. Gut. 37) by it: but must this be invariably 

confounds the myth with allegory true? 

in asserting (though he retracts * As will be shown in its proper 

the assertion virtually, p. 100) place. 

that the myth excludes proba- - 7 The Name-giver of the Cratj 

bility, because, if taken literally, it lus and the (fivrovpybs TT}S K\bnfi c 

could only be false, while it could Republic, x. 597 B sqq., belong tc 

only be true if understood in its this class. 



Weakness than of strength : they indicate the point at 
which it becomes evident that as yet he cannot be | \J 
wholly a philosopher, because he is still too much of a 
poet, 28 

28 Cf. Hegel s remarks, History 
of Philosophy, ii. 103 sqq. A. 
Jahn (Dissertatio Platonica, Bern, 
183 ( J, p. 20 sqq.) has rather 
strengthened than refuted Hegel s 
position, though his perverse philo 
sophic assumptions have done much 
to obscure the simple understand 
ing of the case ; e.g. the arbitrary 
and unsatisfactory division of the 
myths (ibid. 31 sq.) into theological, 
psychological, cosmogonical, and 
physical a division that reminds 
us of Ballast s dc Mundo, c. 4. 
Deuschle(Plat. Sprachphil. 38 sqq. ; 
Uebcr plat. Mythen, 3 sqq.) is much 
more satisfactory on the nature and 
import of Plato s myths ; and Suse- 
milil (Genet. Entw. i. 228, 283 
sq.) and Steinhart (PI. W. vi. 73) 
in the main agree with him. He 
shows that the Platonic envisage- 
nicnt of the world, and the method 
of its development, was essentially 
ontological, not genetic ; and that, 
therefore, Platonic philosophy was 
not concerned, even if it had been 
able, to explain the genesis of the 
Existent. The Become, however, 
forced itself into consideration ; 
and some form had to be found at 
once capable of a speculative con 
tent, and demonstrating by its un- 
philosophic stamp the nothingness 
of ^ the experiential snbstratum. 
This form was the mythus, the 
value and charm of which (as 
Bteinhart says, loc. cit.) lie in 
that mysterious union of Being 
and Becoming, which, unattainable 
by cognition, may only be grasped 
by imagination and feeling; the 

essential import of which is to 
give a pictorial envisagement, 
where pure thought can no longer 
help us, of the transition of the 
Idea into phenomena. We may, 
therefore, expect a mythical re 
presentation wherever (Deuschle, 
Plat. M. 10) Plato s doctrine in 
volves a difficulty between truo 
Being and a process of Becoming : 
the former belongs to intellectual 
investigation ; the latter has to bj 
brought before us by an envisage 
ment which fills up its outlines. 
While acknowledging the ingenuity 
of these deductions, I am prevented 
by ^ the following reasons from 
giving full adhesion to the theory. 
First, I cannot concede that Plato 
uses mythic representation only 
when he has to explain a process 
of Becoming. For (even to pass 
over Phaedr. 259 A sq., 274 sq., 
and 247 (), 250 B ; Kep. x. 5L7 P.. 
where the Ideas themselves are 
thus treated) the myths in tin 
Symposium and Politicus (as will 
be shown further on) are not con 
cerned with the explanation of 
anything Become ; in the former 
the object is to give a description 
of Eros a definition through con 
cepts which might just as well 
have been given ill purely dialectic 
form. But artistic considerations 
decided Plato to clothe his thought 
in the light and transparent en 
velopment of the mythus. In the 
Politicus, he merely follows out 
the position that the reduction of 
statecraft to the pastoral art is at 
most applicable only to the golden 

M 2 


Plato s more comprehensive and methodical de 
velopment of philosophy necessitates also a clearer 
distinction of its several branches with him than with j 
earlier philosophers. Yet the dividing lines are not 
so sharply drawn in his writings as in those of Aris 
totle ; nor is the precise determination of each branch 
quite certain. 29 Modern writers have not unfrequently 
ascribed to Plato classifications which are manifestly 
alien to him ; 30 and the same is true of the previously 

age and that, applied to our own this. Fuller enquiries into the 

times, it is wrong and overlooks Platonic myths are given in Alb. 

the real distinction between the Fischer De Mythis Plat. (Konigsb. 

two All the philosophic opinions 1865), 27 sq. ; Ueberweg, Grnndr. 

contained in the myth of the States- i. 129. To these must now be 

man might have been dispensed added Volquardsen on the Platonic 

with as Jar as its immediate object myths, Schlesw. 1871. Fischer s 

is concerned. Again, the myth of classification of the myths into 

Eep. iii. dots not stand in the poetical and philosophical (loc. cit.) 

place of ;.n explanation. On this is inexact, because, if we under- 

acccunt then I cannot concede to stand by the first the purely pocti- 

Dcuschle (Plat. M. 12) that a myth cal (for they are all poetical on the 

like that of the Symposium is whole, else they would not be 

necessary on philosophic grounds, myths) this class must be limited 

though I entirely acknowledge its to the Plucdr. 259 (of the Cicadas) ; 

artistic propriety. Generally speak- Phrcdr. 274 C sq. (about Theuth) 

ing, we shall find it best not to is a didactic narrative, though 

press the philosophical construe- without any philosophic content, 

tion too much, not to confine too Of the other instances placed by 

strii-tly poetical invention. As Fischer in this class, Rep. ii. 359 

regards the scientific worth of D sq, is no myth at all, while 

the Platonic myths, I do not Prot. 230 C sqq., and Symp. 189 

think niv judgment on them D sqq., express definite philosophic 

overthrown by the remark (Piat. suppositions. The further division 

Sprach. phil. 38) that this exposi- of the philosophic myths into on- 

tion was necessary to Plato from tological, methodic, cosmological, 

his point of view. This I have psychological, and political, is at 

endeavoured to prove myself: and once useless and inaccurate, mas- 

the assertion that the deficiencies much as not unfrequently several 

of Plato s scientific procedure of these elements are treated in 

come into prominence in this the same myth, 

very need of a mythical expo- - 9 Cf. on what follows lutter, 

sition is no contradiction. J>eu- ii. 244 sqq. 

Bchle, plat, M. 4, virtually admits j E.g. the division into a general 

\ or 


mentioned attempts 31 of the old grammarians to arrange 
his works according to their contents. Though the ex 
ternal evidence in its favour is insufficient, 32 there is 
far more to be said for the theory that he divided the 
whole subject matter of philosophy into three, parts : //) 
Dialectics (or _Logic), Physics, and Ethics. 33 For not " 
only is itEis" distribution presupposed by Aristotle 34 
and employed by Xenocrates, 35 but the most im 
portant of the dialogues, in regard to their main 
subject, fall into three corresponding groups ; though 
scarcely one dialogue is wholly contained in either. 

find an .applied part : (Marbach, second and third century of tho 

Gesch. d. Phil. i. 215, who further Christian era. 
subdivides the latter into Physics ^ Cic. Acad. i. 5, 19, who, ace. 

and Ethics ; similarly Schleierma- to c. 4, 14 (cf. Fin. v. 3, 8, 4, 9), 

cher, Gesch. d.^ Phil. 98, speaks follows Antiochus in this instance! 

of a twofold direction of cogni- Diog. iii. 56 : to Physics Socrates 

tion to unity and totality, and in added Ethics, and Plato Dialectics 

the latter to Physics and Ethics ; (more correctly Apul. Dogm. Plat. 

to Plato himself is ^ attributed 3 : he had Ethics and Dialectics 

merely the threefold division into from Socrates). Atticus ap. Euseb. 

Pialectics, Physics, and Ethics) ; pr. Ev. xi. 2, 2 sqq., Apul. loc. cit., 

a distinction which nowhere oc- both of whom, however, show their 

curs. Nor again do we find untrustworthiness, in ranging Thco- 

a distinction between theoretical logy and the doctrine of Ideas under 

and practical philosophy ; (Krug, 
Gesch. d. alt. Phil. 209 ; Buhle, 

Physics ; so also Aristocl. apud 
Euseb. loc. cit. 3, G, and Alcinous 

Gesch. d. Phil. ii. 70 sq. ; and Isag. c. 7, who mentions the three 

Tennemami, Plat. Phil. i. 240 ?qq., divisions of dialectical, theoretical, 

add as a third division Logic and practical philosophy. Sextus 

or Dialectics, by which, however, Math. vii. ID, after detailing the 

they only understand the theory of three parts of philosophy, savs far 

cognition). Van Heusde s distinc- more circumspectly : &v 5vfd/j.ft 

lion of a philotopkia jml-ri, r<-ri ^v TiXdruv <TT\V dpxifyli .... 

ol irepl rov tZ 

/ecu ol airb TOV -rrepiiraTov tn 5e vl 
TTJS trroas ^x oVTai TTJade TT)$ 

cf jtinti, is entirely modern and 

^ P- ^7, 14. 

52 See preceding note. The 
eclectic Antiochus is not an original 

source in questions of the Platonic Anal. Post. i. 33, end. 
philosophy ; and this is true with- * See note 33. 
out exception of the writers of the 

Top. i. 14, 105, b. 19; cf. 


I The Timaeus, and, so far as Anthropology may be 
classed under Physics, the Phaedo also, is physical as 
to contents ; the Republic, Politicus, Philebus, Gor- 
gias, ethical : the Theaatetus, Sophist and Parmenides, 
dialectical. We may therefore venture to derive this 
division from Plato, though it is never brought for 
ward in his writings, 36 and at any rate cannot be 
proved in the case of his oral discourses. But, 
however applicable it may be, it does not exhaust 
the philosophic content of the dialogues. It has 
already been pointed out that in these the Socratic 
induction, discussion for scientific preparation and 
moral education, is combined with systematic deve 
lopment of doctrine, and at first even asserts itself 
to a far greater extent. What place, then, is to 
be assigned to such arguments ? Where are we to 
arrange all those refutations of popular opinion and 
of customary virtue, of the Sophists and their Euda3- 
monistic theories all those passages which treat of 
the conception and the method of knowledge, the one 
ness of virtue, and the relation of knowledge to moral 
action, of philosophic love and the stages of its deve 
lopment ? It is usual to place one part of them 
under Dialectic, another under Ethics. But by this 
procedure, either the coherent exposition of these 

33 By Dialectic Plato under- trine of true existences is not 

stands Philosophy generally, as opposed to his views. He does 

will be shown more thoroughly not know the names Physics and 

later on. He acknowledges a Kthics. Instead of the latter he 

strictly scientific procedure only would rather say Politics : cf. Polit. 

where pure concepts are dealt 303 E, 305 E, 259 B ; and Etithy- 

with ; and, therefore, the limi- dem. 291 C sqq. ; Gorg. 464 B. 
tation of Dialectic to the doc- 


sciences is interrupted by elementary discussions which 
Plato, even where ho introduces them, has left far 
behind or the enquiries concerning true knowledge 
and right action, always in him so closely inter 
mingled, are forced widely apart. To renounce an 
articulate division of the exposition based on the 
contents, and to adhere only to the conjectural ar 
rangement of the dialogues, 37 seems unadvisable ; for 
if we thus gain a true representation of the order 
in which Plato propounded his thoughts, we get 
none of their internal connection ; and it is evident 
from the frequent discussion in widely distant dialogues 
of one and the same thought, that the two orders do 
not necessarily coincide. Unless we would follow Plato 
even in his repetitions in the want of perfect syste 
matic clearness inseparable from his manner of explana 
tion we must, in considering dialogues which are the 
stronghold of any particular doctrine, adduce all parallel 
instances from among the other dialogues. But if in 
this manner the order of the writings be once aban 
doned, we have no longer any reason for adhering to it 
at all ; the problem will rather be to place ourselves at 
the inner source and centre of the Platonic system, and 
to rally round this nucleus the elements of that system, 
according to their internal relation in the mind of their 
author. 38 On this subject Plato himself (Hep. vi. 511 B) 

17 A commencement may be these remarks I do not dispa- 

found in Branch s, cf. loc. cit. p. rage the worth of investigations 

182, 11)2 : afterwards, however, he into the sequence a.nd respective 

returns to an arrangement accord- relations of the Platonic dia- 

ing to matter, which in the main logues, or accede to the sweeping 

agrees with the ordinary one. sentence of Hegel against such 

w I need not protest that in enquiries (Gesch! d. liiil. xi. 150), 


gives us a pregnant hint. The highest division of the 
thinkable, he says, and the proper object of philosophy 
is this : What the reason as such attains by means of 
the dialectic faculty, using the hypotheses not as first 
principles, but merely as hypotheses, like steps and 
points of departure, 39 in order to reach out from them 
to the unconditioned, the first principle of all things ; 
and laying hold of this, and then of that which follows 
from it, it again descends to the last step ; so that it 
nowhere makes use of any sensible object, but proceeds 
wholly from ideas, through ideas, to ideas. In this 
passage, and also in a noteworthy passage of Aris 
totle, 40 a double way is clearly traced out for thought : 
the way from beneath, upward ; and that from above, 
downward : the inductive ascent to the idea, effected 
by the cancelling of final hypotheses, and the syste- 
I matic descent from the idea to the particular. Now 
we already know that these two ways correspond with 
the two elements united in the doctrine of Plato, and 
also distinguishable from each other in his literary 
exposition. We therefore pursue this indication, COn- 
superficially reiterated by Mar- 40 Eth. N. i. 2, 1095 a. 32 : 
bach (Gesch. d. Phil. i. 198). eff yap KO.L U\dra}v jvfyci TCVTO KUI 
These investigations are in their tfijm, Trbrepov airb ruvdpx^, ?} eTrt 
proper place of the highest value, rds dpxds tffriv r) 6 5os, tiffTCptv rep 
but, in an exposition of the <rra5iV OTTO T&V a.d\odtTuv iirirb 
Platonic system, merely literary TJ e/ms /) dj/ctTraXti . This expression 
points must he subordinated to seems to refer to Plato s procedure 
questions of the philosophic con- in oral instruction. The words 
nection. -rjirbpei /ecu e^rei are suitable 

y9 Properly, onsets, bpna.1 : but neither to the passage in the 
here the word .seems to signify not llepublic nor to the analogous 
BO much the actual onset, as the (though not coincident) passage in 
starting point. Similarly Symp. the Phaedo, 101 D. Cf. the refer- 
211 C : ui<nrfp eTravapadfj.o is xpu- ence later on from Phfedr. 205 D 
[rots TroXXots /caXotsj. sqq. 



sidering in the following pages, first the 
groundwork, and then the systematic construction of 
the Platonic theory. This latter, again, may be divided 

f into Dialectics, Physics, and Ethics. 41 


, ll It needs r.o proof to show that futation as his assertion (loc. cit. 

| these three divisions could only p. 288) that Plato, as a true So- 

1 1 have been arranged in the order cratie, was occupied entirely with 

| given above, and the reverse order practical philosophy, and in his 

adopted by Freis, ^Gesch. d. Phil, method did not go beyond the 

i. >; 08 sqq., requires as little re- epagogic process. 




SPEAKING generally, Plato s Propaedeutic consists in 
applying destructive criticism to the unphilosopliical 
point of view, and demonstrating the necessity of true 
philosophy. In particular, three stages may be dis 
tinguished in this process. Ordinary consciousness 
forms the point of departure. By the dialectical 
analysis of the presuppositions, which were regarded 
by ordinary consciousness as primary and certain 
truths, we next arrive at the negative result of the 
Sophists. 1 When this has been surmounted, and not 
till then, the philosophic point of view can be positively 

Plato has refuted the position of ordinary conscious 
ness both on its theoretical and on its practical side. 
In theory, ordinary consciousness may be generally 
defined as the Envisaging Consciousness (Vorstellendes 
Bewusstsein) ; or, more exactly to discriminate its ele 
ments, it apprehends truth partly as Sensuous Percep 
tion, and partly as Envisagement (Vorstellen) in the 

1 Grotc 8 objections (Plato, i. 259 sq.) have been answered, Part i. p. 157. 

x AM> orixiox. m 

narrower sense Opinion, or what a man conceives 
(8o ?a). 2 

In opposition to this, Plato shows in the Theaetetus 
that Knowledge (tTnorr^rj) is something different from 
Perception (sensation, aiaOrjmg) and Right Opinion. 
Perception is not Knowledge, for (Thesefc. 151 E) Per 
ception is only the manner in which things appear to us 
(^avrao-m) : if, therefore, Knowledge consisted in Per 
ception, it would follow that for each man that must 

jbe true which appears to him true the principle of 
the Sophists, the refutation of which w r e shall presently 

i consider. Perception shows us the self-same object in 

< the most contradictory manner : at one time great, at 
another small; now hard, now soft ; now straight, now 
crooked : how then can it be regarded as equally true 

I with thought, which abolishes these contradictions? 3 
l^ut even Right Opinion is not Knowledge ; inasmuch as 
Knowledge is to be sought in the activity of the soul as 
such, and not in yielding ourselves to external im 
pressions 4 Opinion is inadequate to the problem of 
Knowledge. If Right Opinion (this by way of indirect 
proof) were indeed Knowledge, the possibility of False 
Opinion would be inexplicable. For in the first place, 
False Opinion could relate neither to what is known nor 
to what is unknown : of the former we have Right Opi 
nion, of the latter (if Knowledge and Opinion be really 

- ( 1 f. liep. v. 475 E sqq., and ^relv aM/v (r^v eiri.<TTrj/j.r]i>} tv 
ssages to be presently cited. aiadrja-et rb irapdirav, d\X 

3 Rep. iii. 5 23 E sq. ; x. G02 r$ <Ji>6/xcm, 8ri TTOT 

C sq. &TO.V avrrj KO.6 avrrjv wpa-y^aTev^T 

4 Theret. 187 A : 6>ws 5 TO- Trepl ra tivra. 
76 Trpo/^e/Sij/ca^ei , wcrre /XT/ 



identical) none at all. 5 Further, if we suppose False 
Opinion to be an opinion corresponding to no object 
this would presuppose that the non-existent might be 
conceived ; but that is impossible, since every notion if- 
a notion of something that exists. If it be made to 
consist in the mistaking of one notion for another 
(aAAoo( a), it is equally inconceivable that a man 
should mistake one thing that he knows, by virtue of 
his very knowledge, for some other thing that he knows, 
or even for something he does not know. 6 That is to 
say, Knowledge and Eight Opinion cannot be the same, 
for Right Opinion does not exclude the possibility of 
False, and Knowledge does exclude it ; 7 Opinion can be 

5 Vide 187 C sq. 

Vide 189 B-200 D ; and 
specially the end of this section. 
Briefly, the drift of the whole in 
particular of the elaborate com 
parisons of the soul to a wax- 
tablet and to a dove-cot is to 
show that in supposing the identity 
of Knowledge and Bight Opinion 
there is an incorrect combination 
of an opinion with a perception, 
not a confusion of the concepts 
themselves ; and that, therefore, 
such a supposition is incorrect. 
In refuting what is false, Plato 
generally gives hints of the truth ; 
and we find a series of acute and 
striking remarks in the course of 
his demonstration, specially in the 
distinction (afterwards so produc 
tive in Aristotle s hands) between 
actual and potential knowledge, 
and in the dictum that error 
is based, not in onr particular 
opinions about or cnvisagements of 
things, but in an incorrect com 
bination of these ; in the case of 
sensible things, an incorrect com 

bination of the pictures our 
memory makes with our percep 
tions : 190 15 sq. Steinhart (PI. 
\V. iii. 44, 93 sq.) lays such stress 
on this positive side of the dialogue 
as to assert that the genetic 
development of the process of 
thought is to be recognised in it, 
as well as the refutation of error 
as to the nature of Knowledge. 
I cannot agree with him here : 
there is no investigation into the 
genesis of Knowledge ; and even 
its nature is only indirectly hinted 
at in separating it from Perception 
and Opinion. 

7 On the other hand, Bonitz 
(Plat. Stud. i. 09 sq.) thinks that 
the question at 187 B, 200 C, is 
not as to the possibility of error, 
but the explanation of what goes 
on in the soul when error arises. 
To me the point seems to lie in the 
demonstration that if 56a dX 
coincided with eTriffTrj/j.-r), 56c 
i/ euSrjs would be inexplicable ; 
Theffitetus definition of eVton? 
as 66a dX^^s is refuted apa^ 



true or false Knowledge only true : we cannot know / 
falsely, but only know or not know. 8 This diversity 
m;iy also be proved by experience, for Knowledge is 
only produced by instruction ; Right Opinion, on the 
: contrary, not unfrequently, as by rhetoricians, through 
mere persuasion. Knowledge, therefore, cannot lie in 
the sphere of Opinion, but must belong to some specifi 
cally different activity. 9 For the same reason, it cannot 
be defined 10 as Right Opinion along with an explana 
tion (Xoyoc) ; for whatever may be comprehended in the 
explanation, if this itself does not start from a cogni 
tion, but only from a right envisagement, its addition 
can never transmute Opinion into Knowledge. 11 The 

gically. This view, in my opinion, 
is favoured by the fact that it, 
and it alone, can bring the section 
we are discussing into harmony 
with the theme of the whole dia 
logue. Regarded in any other 
light, tlii;-; section becomes an un- 
ir.otivcd episode of disproportion 
ate length, interrupting the en 
quiry into the concept of eirurT nfj.-r]. 
And the subsequent progress of 
the dialogue confirms my explana- 
lion. The difficulties with which 
the explanation of False Opinion 
to contend come back finally 
to the contradiction : what I 
enow I must at the same time not 
vno\v, or must confound with 
something else ; cf. p. 109 < sq. ; 
19ii ( et alibi, lint the contra- 
liction disappears as soon as the 
supposition of 187 C (that the 
opposite of 56a ^ei>5T7s,56a d\?707?s, 

8 This is directly enunciated by 
the Gorgias, 454 1) : ap <TTI rts 

TTLCTTIS \f/v8qS Kdl d\T]0r]S] 0CUT/S elf, 

u>s e-ycu dtfjiai. Ncu rl " ; Tt<m}/tilJ 
earl ^evdrjs Kat dXrjdris ; 
ArjXov yap av on ov ravrbv e<m.v. 
Hians is here equivalent to the 
56a of other passages ; cf. Rep. iii. 
534 A sq. (infra, note 14), where 
that part of 56a which relates to 
Reality as distinguished from mei\: 
pictures of things is called Trfo-rts ; 
and ibid. v. 477 K : uyzoX67s nrj 
rb ai TO flvai eiriffTrj/j.T]v re KO.I 
86i;ai>. Fliis yap av ^(f>tj, TO ye 

coincides with eVi (77-7^07) is given 
ip. I fight Opinion (8<5fa d\?70r?s) 
may (as Plato says in the Aleno, 
)7 K ; Tim. 51 E) pass into error ; 
Knowledge (e7n<7TT7/-f>?) cannot. 

ravrbv TTore rts vovv 

9 Cf. Schleiermacher, Platon a 
\\ erke, ii. 1, 170. 

10 With Antisthenes, v. Part i. 
p. 252 sq. 

11 V. 201 C-210. I cannot here 
go into the details of the argu 
ment ; v. Susemihl, i. l ( ,) ( ,l sq. ; 
Steinhart, ii. 81 sq. Hermann s 
opinion (Plat. 498, <>">9, repeated 
by Albert!, z. Dialektik d. PI., 
Jahn s Jahrb. Suppl., New Series, 



Meno tells 12 us wherein they differ: Opinion lacks in-: 
telligent insight into the necessity of the thing : it II 
consequently, even if true, an uncertain and variable 
possession. Knowledge alone, by supplying this want. 1 
guarantees abiding cognition of truth. And summing 
up all previous discussions, the Timaeus (51 E) declares 
that Knowledge is implanted in us by instruction, Right 
Opinion by persuasion; 13 the one is always accompanied 
by true reason, the other is without reason ; the one is 
not to be moved by persuasion, the other may be 
moved ; and lastly, every man may be said to parti ci- ! 
pate in Right Opinion, but in Reason only the gods, and 1 
very few men. The Republic, 14 in a more objective 
manner, proves the inferior worth of Opinion, in th 
Knowledge has pure Being for its subject matter, Opi 
nion only something intermediate between Being an 
Non-Being : consequently Opinion must itself be inte 
mediate between Knowledge and Ignorance. This e 

i. 123, and favoured by Susemihl, 
p. 207, and Steiuhart, p. 85) that 
the position apparently disputed 
really contains Plato s own view, 
contradicts the obvious sense of the 
passage. Kight Opinion, according 
to Plato, becomes Knowledge, not 
through any explanation in Au- 
tisthenes sense, but through cog 
nition of causes (airias Xoy iff/Ay, 
Meno, 98 A). 

12 97 sq. ; cf. Symp. 202 A ; 
Kep. vi. 506 C. The same cha 
racteristic distinguishes r^x v "n from 
tfjureipLa in the (iorgias, 4G5 A. 

13 Gorgias, 454 E. 

14 V. 476 D-478 D. Cf. Symp. 
202 A ; Phileb. 59 A sq. Simi 
larly in Kep. vi. 509 D sq. ; vii. 

533 E sq., the domain of the Visii 
and of Becoming is assigned 
Opinion, that of the Intellectual 
and of Being to Knowledge. Tlie 
further subdivision of 56a into 
opinion about (or envisagemcnt oH 
real things on the one hand (Trams) 
and their mere pictures on the 
other (ekaata) is made to parallel 
the subdivision of Knowledge into 
symbolic and pure Knowledge : v.l 
p. 510 D. In other places Plato 
puts afodrjais side by side with 
56a, e.g. in the Parmenides, 155 
D ; Timseus, 28 B ; 37 B ; besides 
the Thefetetus. Of. also the passage 
(to be noticed presently) in Aris 
totle, De Anima, i. 2, 404 b. 21. 


ft position to some extent presupposes the distinction 
: between Knowledge and Opinion, and in some degree 
ti-; depends on limitations which belong to the further 
development of the system. 

That which in the sphere of theory is the antithesis 
of Opinion and Knowledge, becomes in practice the 
antithesis of common and philosophic Virtue. 15 Ordi 
nary virtue is even formally insufficient : it is a mere 
matter of custom, without clear understanding ; allowing 
itself to be guided by Opinion instead of Knowledge. 
It thus becomes a plurality of individual activities, 
which are bound together by no internal unity ; nay, 
which even partially contradict one another. It is also 
deficient in content, partly in making evil as well as 
good its aim ; partly in desiring the good, not for its 
own sake but on extraneous grounds. In all these rela 
tions Plato finds a higher conception of morality to be 

Customary virtue arises from habit ; it is action with 
out intelligent insight into the causes of that action ; 1(i 
it depends on Kight Opinion, not on Knowledge: 17 
whence it evidently follows that the possession of such 
virtue is not combined with the capacity for imparting 
it to others ; and that according to the usual view, or 
at any rate the usual practice, there are no teachers of 

15 < f. following note. self by an unwise choice in his 

6 Mono, 99 A sq. et al. ; Pbredo, second life) : eli>ai 5 avrbv rdv IK 

32 A : oi TT]V di]fj.OTiKriv re Kal rod ovpavov TJK^VTWV^ Iv TTay/j.^vj] 

a-perty ^TriTeTTjSev/core?, TroXiretp ev ry Trportpy jSi y ftefiiu- 

vvi au<ppoavvt)v re Kal *6ra, 0ei &vfv <pi\ocro<plas dpcr^i 

e ZOovs re Kai /neX^ri;? jUereiX?706Ta. Cf. Uep. iii. 402 A ; 

fi.i>ev 0cAoao$i as re /cat vii. 522 A. 

Hep. x. 019 (of one who ]7 Mono, 97 sq. ; especially 99 

las brought imhappiness on him- A-C ; Kep. vii. 53-4 C. 


virtue 18 for those who profess to be teachers (the 
Sophists) are, as we shall presently see, recognised 
as such neither by Plato, nor by the popular verdict. 19 
For the same reason this virtue has in itself no war 
ranty of its own continuance ; its origin and subsistence 
are dependent on chance and circumstances. All who 
are content with it, the famous statesmen of ancient 
Athens not excepted, are virtuous only by the Divine 
appointment : that is to say, they owe their virtue to 
accident ; 20 they stand on 110 essentially higher ground 

18 Protagoras, 319 B sq. ; Mono, 
87 B pq. ; 93 sqq. 

19 Meno, 91 B sq., where Any las 
represents the men of 


- lliis view of the Oel 
was enunciated by Bitter, ii. 472, 
and opposed by Hermann (Jahn s 
Archiv 1840. p. 5(3 sq. ; cf. Plat. 
484), Susemihl (Genet. Ent. i. 71), 
Fencrlein (Sittenl. d. Alterth. 82), 
Schaarschhndt (Samml. d. Plat. 
Kcli. 350\ and Stallbaum (Vind. 
loci leg. Plat. 22 pq.). It may be 
easily explained and supported. 
The expression denotes any divine 
dispensation, cither in the dispo 
sition of outward circumstances, 
or in the natural endowments and 
inward motives of individuals. 
We sec the former exemplified in 
Socrates words (Phsedo, 58 E): 
)U,7?5 eis Aidov ibvra. &vev ddas 
/uot pas t eVcu, dXXa Kcl/ceare d<pii<6- 
Hevov f& IT pawns the latter in 
Kep. vi. 492 E, where it is said 
that with ordinary human endow 
ments no one can be saved for 
philosophy in the present corrup 
tion of States; but 6 rt nep o.v 
ffu<f>rj re /ecu yfi -yrai olov Set 
iv TOiavrr) /caraoTcicrei TroXtreiW, 

6eov /jLolpav avrb ffuurai \eyuv oi> 
KO.K&S epets. (Schaarsehmidt gives 
an inexact account of this in mak 
ing Plato say that if a moral 
character does appear in the world, 
it is only through divine aid; the 
question is not of the world in 
general, but of the existing /ca- 
rdcraffis TUV TroXtretwv.) Here 
the divine dispensation includes 
both ways of help : the extra-; 
ordinary endowment of the indi 
vidual, and the favourable dis-: 
position of outward circumstances, 
which unite to preserve him from 
the bad influence of a corrupt 
state; cf. ibid. 496 B sq. Simi 
larly, in Plato s Apology, 33 C 
(vide Part i. 49, 5), the dreams 
and oracles urging Socrates to oc 
cupy himself with philosophy are 
attributed to 0ei a juot/ja. In other 
passages the expression is applied 
to natural disposition, natural ex 
cellence of any sort, 6 da ^oipa 
properly denoting the divine in 
man, the divine inheritance which 
is his, because of his kinship to 
the gods (e.g. in Prot. 322 A ; 
Phrcdrus, 230 A). In this sense the 
true ruler who has been brought 
to right practical knowledge 

r,s7YU/J/,T 17/r/TA . 


than soothsayers and poets, and all those who produce 
what is true and beautiful from mere inspiration (/tcav/a, 

virtue of an individual in an 
evilly constituted state, as an ex 
ception only ascribable to a special 
dispensation of providence. Ana 
logous to this is the opposition we 
find in the Phaxlrus, 244 C sq , 
between prophetic inspiration, 
which is spoken of in terms of 
praise as resulting deiq. fJioipa, and 
the ffirrjo is r&v efj.(pp6i>wv : the 
same opposition is used in the 
Ion, 534 B, with reference to 
poetic inspiration : poets are said 
to utter themselves ov Tewy dXXa 
dciq. jj.oipq. : and we may compare 
the similar expressions of the 
Apology, 22 C. 6 rt ov <ro</>ta Troiolev 
& TrotoFej , dXXa (pvaei nvl Kal 
evdovcndfrovTes K.T.\., and Laws, 
iii. 682 A. In the Mono, the con 
trast to knowledge and to virtue 
dependent on knowledge denoted 
by deiq. /j.olpg, is clear : the great 
statesmen of old, we read in 99 1> 
sq., achieved their business by 
pure ei;5ota, ov <ro(pig. nvl <r60<H 
tivres : as far as tlieir wisdom 
went, they were on a level with 
soothsayers, &c. (ov8i> diafaptivTos 
^Xoi-res 7r/)6s TO typovtlv % ol XV 57 ? "- 
pyooi K.T.X.), who often hit the 
truth unconsciously (vovv /J.TJ %x ov - 
res /J,rj5i> ei S6res &v \tyovau>}. 
A irtue comes to those who cannot 
impart it to others by teaching, 
0eip [j-oipq. dvev vou: he who can so 
impart it may be compared to 
Tiresias : olos TrfTrvvrai, al 5 crKial 
ataaovvLv. A viitue to which 
such expressions are applicable is 
so far below philosophic morality, 
that if Plato in the Meno derived 
the latter from deia fjLoipa, he 
could not (v. Feuerlein, loc. 
cit.) have been clear in his own 

by an unusually happy 
natural disposition, and has learnt 
to act correspondingly, is said 
(Laws, ix. 875 ( ) to be 6ciq. /xot pct 
yfvvr}0eis. The same or a similar 
designation for the natural dis 
position of men is found in Xen. 
Mem. ii. 3, 18 ; Arist. Kth. Ni. x. 
10, 1179 b. 21, as pointed out by 
Hermann, loc. cit. p. 56 ; cf. also 
Kpinomis, ( .85 A. In all these 
instances, deia /jLotpa is simply used 
of the derivation of some fact 
from divine causation, without ex 
cluding conscious human activity ; 
thus knowledge itself may be ulti 
mately referred to divine dis 
pensation, as in Hep. vi. 4T)2 E ; 
Laws, ix. 875 C. In other places, 
6eia /.loipa is opposed to eTrtanj/x?;, 
prhen a thing is spoken of as due, 
not to conscious human activity 
motived by knowledge, but to 
mere natural disposition, to cir 
cumstances, or to some inspiration 
of which no clear account can be 
given. Thus in Ixep. ii. 3(36 C, 
6ttg. (f)V(Ti (essentially equivalent 
to dfla fJ-oipa*) and e-mcrTr)fj.-rj are 
opposed in the words ( all love 
injustice ) TrXr/j/ d rts deia 0i cret 
ftvayje wv rb aoiKelv ?} etntjr qiJ. qv 
Xa/3wp OLire^erai avrov. Similarly 
in the Laws, i. 642 C, deiq. /j-oipq, 
is made parallel to ai)ro0yws, as 
opposed to avd-yicr) : the man who 
is righteous at Athens, we are 
there told, must be really and 
unmistakably righteous, for there 
is no compulsion in the laws or 
institutions to keep him so, and 
he must be simply following the 
dictates of his own natuie. lino, 
as in Hep. vi. 4 ( J2 E (v. supra), 
the 6eiq, (j.oipq, must denote the 



. 21 On this account Plato (Rep. x. 619 D) 
makes the majority of those, who through unphiloso- 
phic virtue have gained the heavenly blessedness, fail 
on their re- entrance into this world ; and in the Phasdo 
(82 A) he says, satirically, that they have the cheerful 
prospect of being placed in the course of their trans 
migrations among bees, wasps, ants, or some other well- 

mind as to the derivation of 
virtue ; and Hermann s assertion 
(loc. cit. p. 61 sq.) that in the 
persons of whom Plato is here 
speaking, the imperfections of cus 
tomary virtue are supposed to be 
complemented by divine aid, ita 
ut, si quis divinitus reyatur, eum 
tiGii minus firmiter incedere siyni- 
faet, quam qui rationem ductm 
kabeat, is altogether untenable. 
The passage in the Politicus, 
which he quotes to support his 
view (309 C), is not to the point : 
it deals not with the virtue dis 
cussed in the Meno, but with 
philosophic virtue ; if right opinion 
(dX^s 56a), as to Right and 
Wrong, duly substantiated (/xerd 
j3e/3cuo!<rews), has been appropriated 
by the soul, then (according to 
the Politicus) the moral faculties 
of the soul are bound together by 
a divine bond. It is precisely in 
virtue of this confirmation (Setr/xos) 
that, according to the Meno, 97 
E sq., right opinion becomes know 
ledge. Finally, I cannot admit 
that Steinhart has given an ade 
quate account of Plato s view, 
PI. AV. ii. 118. According to 
him, in practical life, even where 
cognition fails, or is incomplete, 
Plato would say that the element 
of divinity in man, combined with 
the correct practical judgment that 
experience gives, is able to produce 

a solidity and certainty of moral 
action, commendable in its sphere, 
having its source, equally with the 
higher virtue, in the divine life. 
It is precisely this certainty of 
moral action that Plato, loc. cit., 
denies to any virtue not based on 
knowledge; "y et tnc re is no con 
tradictiou in his deriving ^cus- 
tomary virtue from a divine 
dispensation, and we need see no 
irony in the expression (as Mor- 
genstern, Stallbaum, and others 
do; cf. Hermann, loc. cit. p. 52 
A, 4) ; he recognises the disposi 
tion of God in the fact that virtue 
has not yet died out of the world, 
careless as men are of its preser 
vation by means of thorough 
teaching just as in Rep. \i. 492 
E, he ascribes the appearance 
now and then in corrupt states of 
a genuine philosopher to the 
mercy of heaven. (Aistomary 
virtue, then, though not absolutely 
a thing of chance, is such to those 
who possess it, because they have 
not the means of producing it by 
scientific method in others, or of 
keeping it safe (Meno, 97 E sq. ; 
100 A) ; and it is only in this 
sense that I have here, and in my 
Platonic Studies, p. 109, spoken of 
dda fjioipa as at all approximating 

to chance. 

- 1 Meno, 96 D 
Apology, 21 B sq. 

to end ; cf. 

C&8TOMARY rntrr/-:. 179 

regulated race perhaps even once again in the ranks 
of peaceful citizens. The only means of delivering 
virtue from this sphere of contingency is to ground it 
upon knowledge. The theoretic apprehension of morality 
alone contains the cause of moral practice : All desire 
the good ; even when they desire evil, they do this only 
because they mistake evil for good. Consequently 
where there is true knowledge of that which is good 
and useful, there of necessity must be also moral will ; 
for it is altogether inconceivable that anyone should 
knowingly and designedly strive after that which is 
hurtful to him. All sins arise from ignorance, all right 
action from cognition of the right ; 22 no one is volun- 
tarily bad. 23 While, therefore, want of knowledge is 
usually made an excuse for crimes, Plato is so little of 
that opinion, that he rather maintains with Socrates, that 
it is better to err designedly than undesignedly : 24 that,, 
for example, the involuntary lie or self-deception is much 
worse than conscious deception of others, and that every 
organ for the attainment of truth is wanting 25 to the 

- Prot. 352-357, 358 C ; Gorg. which this assertion forms the 
ir.r, I); 468 E; Mono, 77 B sq. ; theme; but it is clearly to be 
Thefet. 170 C sq. ; Euthyd. 279 seen in other places, v. pivvions 
D sq., where tvrvxia, is reduced and two following notes, and Part 
to wisdom. The euda?monistic i. p. 123, 1. 

premises that may seem to underlie Hep. vii. 535 D: OVKOVV K al 

any of these passages must be irpbs dX^Oeiav Tavrbv TOVTO avdirrj- 

taken as KO.T avOputrov; where pov ^vxw Ortaofjiev, f, &i> T 6 uty 

Plato gives us unconditional enun- CKQVULOV ^eOSos piay K al xaXeTrws 

Ciation of his own views, the eu- <pepr, alrf re Kal ertpuv ilsevdo^- 

daemonistic basis of morals is most vuv, rb 5 aKouatov 

decidedly rejected. _ eMXws Trpo^e^ rcu K al duaOabov- 

lim. 8b D; vide beginning of <rd irov aXta-Ko^evrj rf dyavaKT^ 

next chapter d\V c& X cp&* &<rirep 0-npl ov vaov 

We get this fully enunciated duadia, P.O\VI>^TO.I. Cf. ibid ii 
only in the Uippias Minor, of 382. 



man who only avoids the one, and not in a far greater 
degree the other. Hence, however, the farther conse- i 
quence simultaneously follows that the faults of the i 
wise are not real faults, but only infringements of the 
ordinary code of morals, justifiable from a higher stand 
point. 26 

With this want of self-consciousness on the part of 
conventional virtue is closely connected its view of 
morality as a plurality of particular activities, not as 
one and self-identical in all its various expressions. 
As against this, Plato, like Socrates, maintains (what 
naturally results from the reduction of virtue to know- 
-* ledge) the unity of all virtue ; and he establishes this 
position by the argument that virtues can be contra 
distinguished neither by means of the persons who 
possess them, nor yet by their own content : not by 
the former, for that which makes virtue to be virtue 
must be the same in all; 27 and equally not by the 
latter, for the content of virtue consists only in know 
ledge of the good in science or intelligence. 28 It will 

2(! Vide Part i. p. 123 ; and Hip- of the virtues mentioned resemble 

pins Minor, 376 B: 6 &pa ZKUV a/map- each other, but maintains that 

rdvuv t iirep TIS evriv oSros owe ai> Courage is altogether diverse from 

#AAo5 ei T? ^ 6 AyaOds. each of them, he is shown (358 C 

27 Meuo, 71 D sq. sq.) : (1) that no one chooses what 

- 8 Plato repeats this Socratic he deems an evil rather than 

dictum in his earlier dialogues, good ; (2) that fear is the expcc- 

specially in the Protagoras. The tation of evil; (3) that, therefore, 

assertion that faccuootfnp, au<ppo- no one chooses what he deems 

fffanj, 60-16x775, ffocpia, and &v8pcta fearful; (4) that the distinction 

are so many parts of virtue is met between the courageous and the 

(329 C-333 B) by several ob- timid comes to the one knowing, 

jections, more subtle than con- ami the other not knowing, what 

vincing, but seriously meant by is fearful and what not ; and 

Plato: then in 349 B the question that, therefore, Courage is aoQia 

is taken up afresh ; and, as Prota- r&v deivwv /ecu /*?? deivwv. A deli- 

goras concedes that the first four nition identical with this (noticed 



hereafter be shown that Plato, notwithstanding, again 
assumes certain distinctions of virtues, without preju 
dice, however, to their essential unity ; but he probably 
arrived at that determination (which is to be found in 
the Republic alone 29 ) only in the later development of 

Part i. ]>. 120, 3) is combated by 
Socrates in the Laches, 198 A sq. 
l!ut the objection brought against 
it there is, that courage, so defined, 
cannot be a part of virtue along 
with other parts, because we can 
not know what is to be feared and 
what not, without knowing gene 
rally what is good and what evi! ; 
and such knowledge embraces all 
virtues. This plainly does not 
amount to a rejection of the de 
finition as useless: the point 
enunciated is, that the different 
virtues are not a series of inde 
pendent qualities, but merely dif 
ferent forms of virtue as a whole, 
and the essence of virtue, according 
to the well-known Socratic doc 
trine, resides in cognition of the 
good. In the Charmides, again, 
17 ") A sq., where a doubt is raised 
as to the usefulness of (Toxppoauv-r], 
regarded as self-knowledge, and 
therefore knowledge of our know 
ledge, there is not really any ob 
jection raised to the reduction of 
au(ppo<Tvvrj to knowledge ; we are 
only shown that the relation of 
knowledge to happiness requires a 
more exact determination than 
that hitherto given. 

- 9 JJonitz (Hermes v. 444 sq.) 
thinks that the definition of courage 
in the Laches virtually coincides 
with the later definition of the 
liVpublic. Taking the definition 
of 192 D (0p(5vtynos Kaprepia) in 
connection with 194 E and 199 1J 
eq. (where virtue is said to consist 
in knowing what is gooJ and 

what bad), we get the concept of 
courage, he thinks, as equivalent 
to constancy dependent on moral 
insight. This connection seems to 
me, however, to be reading more 
into the dialogue than is there 
properly. In 192 D sq. Socrates 
does not merely combat the notion 
that an unintelligent hardihood 
deserves the name of courage, but 
shows further that even to define 
the latter as <ppbvi^o3 Kaprepla is 
incorrect. The arguments he uses 
to prove this may perhaps be, 
even from the Socratic-Platonic 
point of view, not irrefutable, but 
there is nothing to show that they 
are not seriously meant. Courage 
is proved to be neither a Kaprepia. 
<pp6vifj.os nor an &(ppov KapTtptjcris : 
we can but conclude that its essence 
is not napTepia at all. On the 
other hand, the really Socratic 
definition proposed by Nicias, as 
has been remarked, is not uncon 
ditionally disputed ; it is shown 
to be irreconcilable with the sup 
position that courage is merely a 
part of virtue, but we are not 
told whether the fault lies in that 
supposition or in Nicias definition. 
The former, in my opinion, is 
Plato s meaning, judging from the 
point of view he adopts in the 
Protagoras; so that the positive 
side of the question (hinted at by 
the apparently rcsultless discussion 
of the Laches) is given by the 
Socratic principle, that courage, 
like all virtue, is reducible to know 
ledge the knowledge of the good. 


his system. But if traditional virtue is imperfect 
because wanting in discernment of its true essential 
nature and the internal coherence of its parts, it is so 
no less with regard to its contents and motives. For 
the generally received principle of doing good to 
friends and evil to enemies, makes not only the doing 
of good but of evil to be virtuous ; 30 and the incentives 
to virtue are usually derived, not from itself, but from 
external ends of advantage or pleasure. 31 True vir-. 
tue, however, allows neither the one nor the other. 
He who is really virtuous will do evil to 110 one, for 
the good can only do good; 32 and as little will such a 
man do good for the attainment by his virtue of ulte 
rior advantages present or future. For to be valiant 
through fear, and temperate through intemperance, is 
to love virtue for the sake of vice. This is only a 
mimicry of true virtue, a slavish virtue in which there 
is nothing genuine or sound a justice which has self- 
interest for its heart s core, and is chiefly prevented by 
weakness from breaking out into open wrong. 33 True 

30 Meno, 71 E; Crito, 49 B sq. ; that Plato (Phil. 49 D) regards 

Hep. i. 334 13. Cf. Part i. p. 142 joy at an enemy s misfortune as 

sq. allowable ; cf. Susemihl, ii. 38: 

:!1 Phsedo, 68 D i-q. ; 82 C ; liep. here he is repeating a Socratic 
ii. 302 E sq. Justice is recom- definition, v. Part i. p. 142, 3. 
mended only because of the reward a Plato shows (Kep. ii. 365 A 
it wins from men and gods, in pq.) that the most reckless self- 
tin s world and the next, net for seeking is a strict consequence 
its own sake; indeed, the happi- from the motives generally ad- 
ness of the unjust is the subject duced for justice ; and in Ixcp. vi. 
(of praise and envy, and even the 492 A sq., he points on I that the 
gcds are believed to be not in- masses which in political assem- 
exr.rable to their sacrifices. blies rule states and statesmen are 

:! - Kep. i. 334 ]J sq. ; Crito loc. the only real perverters of youth, 

cit. It is only from the point of the great Sophists, whom the so- 

view of universal consciousness called Sophists merely follow, in 


virtue, on the contrary, consists in a man s freeing 
himself from all these motives, and regarding know- x 
ledge as the coin for which all else must be ex 
changed. 31 

AV hat Plato, therefore, blames in the ordinary point/ 
of view is its general want of consciousness regarding 
its own action, and the contradiction in which it iaf 
consequently involved; it is satisfied with a truth- 
containing error, and a virtue containing vice. This, 
very contradiction the Sophists had pointed out, and 
employed for the bewildering of the popular con 
science ; but instead of proceeding to a more thorough 
establishment of knowledge and morality, they stopped 
short at this negative result, and only positivized the 
unconditional validity of subjective opinion and will. 
We have shown in the foregoing pages that Plato 
builds on quite another foundation, and pursues quite 
another end. We shall now turn to consider his proced- __ 
ure in the scientific refutation of the Sophists. We 
may again distinguish a theoretic and a practical side. , 
The theoretic principle of the Sophists may be gene- 
raTTyexpressed in the proposition, Man is the measure 
of all things. Theoretically regarded, the import of 
proposition IsT"* that "Is true for every man which 
appears to him true; practically, that is right for every 

studying and pandering to their of the purest and most beautiful 

inclinations. Sophistic ethics, in that Plato ever wrote. One is 

his opinion, are the simple con- tempted to quote many kindred 

sequence of the ethics of custom. passages; perhaps I may be al- 

" rhaedo, 08 B sq. ; 82 C; lowed to refer to the noble places 

83 E ; Rep. x. 012 A. The first, in Spinoza, Eth. pr. 41 ; Ep. 34, 

specially, of these passages is one p. 503. 


man which seems to him right. Both principles were 
thoroughly refuted by Plato. 

As against the theoretic principle, he adduces 35 first 
the experimental fact that judgments about the -future 
at any rate have often no truth even for the person that 
judges ; but in his opinion the decisive proof is that 
such a principle would destroy all possibility of know 
ledge. If all is truth that appears true to the indivi 
dual, there can be no truth at all ; for of every proposi 
tion, and of this among the rest, the contrary would be 
equally true : there can consequently be no distinction 
of knowledge and ignorance, wisdom and folly, virtue 
and vice ; all must be in accordance with the doctrine 
of Heraclitus, in constant flux, so that all attributes, 
and equally their opposites, 36 may be predicated of 
each particular. Above all, upon this hypothesis, that 
must remain unknown which forms the sole true sub 
ject matter of knowledge the essence of things (the 
oucr/a) for this is unattainable by the sensuous percep 
tion to which Protagoras restricts us ; there could be 
nothing absolutely self-evident and fixed nothing in 
itself beautiful, true, and good ; therefore, also, no 
knowledge of truth. Truth and science can only be 
spoken of when they are sought, not in sensuous expe 
rience, but in the soul s pure energizing in the sphere 
of true Being. Plato has expressed himself more fully 
with regard to the ethical code of the Sophists, for the 
combating of which the Cyrenaic doctrine of pleasure 

85 Thcat. 170 A; 172 P>; 177 iv. 4, 5) refutes the doctrine of Hc- 

0-187 A ; Cratyl. 386 A sq. ; 439 raclitus and Protagoras as denying 

C sq. the principle of contradiction. 

M Similarly Aristotle (Metaph. 


(coupled by him with the foregoing) gave an opening. 
It is first criticised in the Gorgias 37 in its association 
with the Rhetoric of the Sophists. On their side it is 
here maintained that the greatest happiness consists in 
the power of doing what one likes, and that this happi 
ness is also the natural object of our actions ; for natural 
right is only the right of the stronger. The Platonic 
Socrates shows, on the contrary, that to do what one 
likes (a Sojca TLVL) is in itself no happiness, but only to 
ilo what one wills (a f3ov\^rat) : this alone will really 
benefit the doer, for all will the good. But the good 
is not pleasure, as common opinion admits, when it 
discriminates between the beautiful and the pleasant, 
the shameful and the unpleasant. This is required 
by the nature of the case ; for good and evil exclude 
one another pleasure and pain mutually presuppose 
each other ; pleasure and pain belong equally to the 
good and to the bad man goodness and badness 
do not. So far, therefore, from pleasure being the 
highest good, and the striving after pleasure the uni 
versal right, it is, conversely, better to suffer wrong 
than to do it to be cured of evil by punishment than s 
to remain unpunished ; for that only can be good which *> 
is just. 3s 

The argumen| 3a in the Philebus establishes the - 
stinu- conclusion more fully, but 011 that very account 

: " Cf. specially 466 C-479 E; what the world is accustomed to 

488 B-508 C. The conversation do without talking about it: v. 

with the politician Calliclcs belongs supra, p. 182, 33. Cf. Part i. p. 2. !. 

to the refutation of the Sophistic 1JS Cf. Thcajt. 176 D sq. As to 

principle, as I have shown in vol. i. the apparently different exposition 

p. (22, 6. According to Plato, of the ProtagoVas, v. p. 188, 4 i. 

Sophistic ethics are only the enuiN :!1) Specially 23 B-55 C. 
ciation in general principles of 


belongs rather to the objective part of the system. The 
question here discussed is, Whether pleasure or know 
ledge be the highest good ? the former the principle 
of the Sophists ; the latter that of Socrates, and more 
definitely of the Megarians and Cynics. The answer 
imports that to perfect happiness both are requisite, 
but that knowledge is incomparably the higher and the 
more nearly related to the absolute good. The main 
line in the proof of this proposition is marked by the 
observation that pleasure belongs to the sphere of Be 
coming ; 40 the good, on the contrary, must be an abso 
lute and essential existence : that all Becoming has 
Being for its j3nd ? but the good is itself the highest 
end ; that pleasure is most nearly akin to the Unli 
mited (Material) ; knowledge to the Divine Reason 
as the ordering and forming cause. Plato further 
draws attention to the fact that pleasure and pain are 
not seldom based upon a mere optical delusion ; that 
pleasure in most cases only occurs in conjunction with 
its contrary, pain : 41 that the intensest sensations of 
pleasure arise from a state of bodily or mental disease. 
Discarding such, there remains as unmixed pleasure 
only the theoretic enjoyment of sensuous beauty, of 

40 Cf. Rep. ix. 583 E: rb r/5i> deed, in the Philebus, 27 E, 41 D, 
tv ^i X?7 yiyv6/j.(voi> KO.I TO \vjrr)p6i rjSovr] is shown to be the feeling 
Kivrjo-is rts d/x0or^/)w tffTiv. Tim. of pleasure unmistakably by its op- 
(54. position to \vTnj. It is without 

41 Webmann (Plat, do snmm. limit (or indefinite), because always 
bon. doctr. p. 49 sq.) thinks that combined with its opposite (v. supra, 
Plato cannot be here sneaking of and Pluedo, p. 00 B ; Phaedrus, 258 
the feeling of pleasure as such, E), and hence containing the possi- 
and would, therefore, understand, bility of continual increase, in 
by i]Sov7], Desire. There is no proportion as it frees itself from 
hint of this in Plato s words ; in- that opposite. 


which, however, Plato elsewhere declares (Tim. 47 A 
s(|<[.) that its true worth lies only in forming the indis 
pensable groundwork of thought, and which, even in 
Ilir Philebus, he decidedly places after knowledge. 
Lastly, in the .Republic, we find an agreement with 
these discussions, and an evident reference to them in 
the remarks as to the doctrine of pleasure (vi. 505 C). 
Even the adherents of that doctrine must admit that 
there are bad pleasures, while at the same time they 
hold pleasure to be the good : this is nothing less than 
to declare good and evil to be the same thing. Simi 
larly, in another passage 42 i The philosopher only has 
true happiness, for his pleasure alone consists in being 
filled with something real ; that is the sole pleasure 
which is unalloyed, and bound to no conditioning pain. 
The question whether justice is more profitable than 
injustice, is as absurd as would be the enquiry is it 
better to be sick or well ? M3 

The refutation (in the Republic 44 ) of the Sophistic 
assertion that justice is merely the interest of the ruler, 
by the exclusion of paid service from the art of govern 
ment, is only a special application of the distinction 
between relative and absolute good ; for this is mani 
festly grounded on the universal presupposition that 
the end of moral activity must be in, and not outside, 
itself. And when, finally, the superiority of justice to 
injustice is proved 45 from the argument that the just 

4 - Ix. ;>S3 B; 587 A, and the the clearness of the thought (cor- 

pvevious quotations from 370 E, rect in itself) is marred by the 

onwards. ^ equivocal use of the word Tr\eovtK- 

Kep. iv. 445 A sq. relv, the propriety of which I can- 

u Hep. i. 339-347. not recognise with JSuseiuihl, ii. 101. 

45 348 13 sq., where, however, 



only tries to get the better of the unjust, but the latter 
is at strife both with the just and unjust ; and, there 
fore, that without justice no social polity and no com 
mon action would be possible for not even a band of 
robbers could entirely do without this virtue the prac 
tical principle of the Sophist is refuted in the same 
manlier as the theoretical has already been refuted. 
As 110 knowledge is possible if instead of the concept, 
of the thing, the opinion of each individual holds good, 
so no reasonable and teleological action is possible if 
the individual will and advantage become law, instead 
of being subordinated to a law of universal validity. 46 

46 The exposition given above 
seems to be contradicted by the treat 
ment of the ethical question in the 
Protagoras. To support his defini 
tion of courage as crotyia T&V fteiv&v 
Kai/j-T] Seivwj^SGO D), Socrates asserts 
(350 B) that r/Sews rjv is coincident 
with e 5^7} v, or the ayaObv ayd&s fjv 
with the Ka.Kbv. Protagoras objects 
that not every i]8v is an ayaQbv, 
nor every dviapov a KO.KOV. To this 
the answer is, 353 C sqq., that the 
Pleasant is called evil only when 
productive of greater unpleasant 
ness, the Unpleasant is called good 
only when productive of greater 
pleasantness ; and that the art of 
living consists in rightly estimating 
the proportions of Pleasure and 
Pain resultant not merely with 
reference to the present but the 
future from our actions. If, with 
Grote (Plato, ii. 78 sq. ; 120, 559; i. 
540), we here recognise the positive 
expression of Plato s own convic 
tion, we are obliged to concede 
the existence of an irreconcilable 
contradiction between the Prota 
goras and the other Dialogues, 

specially the Qorgias. We might, 
however, well hesitate to ascribe 
such inconsistency to Plato, even 
if we held with Grote that the 
sensualist theory of the Protago 
ras were correct in itself. The Crito 
and the Apology, which can scarcely 
be younger, at all events not much 
younger, works than the Protagoras, 
enunciate views which are incom 
patible with Grote s interpretation 
of that dialogue (cf. p. 128). Plato 
shows that the theories put in 
Socrates mouth in the Protagoras 
are not his ultimatum, by the re 
peated reference to the TroXAoi 
(351 C, 353 E), who are mainly 
concerned showing them that they 
have no right to assume the possi 
bility of doing evil knowingly, be 
cause evil, in the end, is always 
harmful to man. But why this is 
so, is not said : it remains unde 
cided whether the Pleasure, which 
is to form the standard of the good, 
is sensuous pleasure (to which the 
concept of rjSovrj in the Philebus 
is limited), or that higher content 
ment which arises from the healthi- 


The fundamental defect, then, in the Sophistic 
Ethics appears to be this : that by its doctrine of 
pleasure it sets the transitory in place of the perma 
nent, appearance in place of essence, ends which are 
relative, and therefore always changing into their op- 
posites, in place of the one absolute, self-consistent end. 
The polemic against their theoretic principle had 
established exactly the same point. Their doctrine in 
general is therefore apprehended by Plato as the con 
summated perversion of the right view of the world, 
the systematic supplanting of Essence by show or ap 
pearance ; of true knowledge by appearance-knowledge ; 
of moral action by a debased utilitarianism, in bondage 
to finite ends ; it is (according to the definition at the 
conclusion of the Sophist) the art of giving, by means 
of quibbling criticism, an appearance of knowledge 
where none is possessed, and when there is full con 
sciousness of the deficiency : and so Rhetoric, the gene 
ral application of Sophistic doctrine, is the art of 
producing glamour in whole masses of people, with the 
same show that Sophistic uses to glamour individuals. 47 
Or if we take both together, the art of the Sophists 
consists in the study and dexterous management of that 
C4reat Beast, the people, 4H in all its moods and tempers. 

r.css of the soul. This question is ism such as Grote attributes to 

not discussed till we get to the Plato, is .alien even to the Prota- 

Gorgias and the later Dialogues, goras. 

nor is the Good expressly distin- " 47 V. Soph. 2G8B; Phsedrus, 2G1 

guished from the Pleasant (v. supr. A sq. ; Gorg. 455 A ; 4G2 Ii-4GG A. 

p. 121, 70). We thus see an ad- The Euthydemns is a satire on 

vance in the development of Plato s the Eristic of the Sophists. (T. 

Ethics, not to much in contrast as vol. i. 885, 910 sq. 

in scientific elahoration. Eudaemon- ** Kep. vi. 493. 


The Sophist neither understands nor professes virtue : 40 
he is nothing better than a huckster and craftsman, 
who praises his wares indiscriminately, no matter how 
they may be made ; 50 and the Rhetorician, instead of 
being a leader of the people, degrades himself into 
their slave. 51 In place of instructing the ignorant 
(which he, as possessing knowledge, ought to do), and 
improving the morally lost and neglected, he, being 
ignorant, uses ignorance to induce persuasion, and 
basely natters folly and greed. 52 Sophistry and Ilhe- 
toric therefore, far from being true arts, are rather 
to be described as mere knacks (t/unrtipiai), or, still 
more accurately, as parts of the art of flattery, as 
spurious arts, which are just as truly caricatures of 
law-giving and the administration of justice as the 
arts of dress and cookery are caricatures of gymnastic 
and medicine. 53 There is only a passing exception to 
this judgment when Plato in the Sophist (231 B sqq.) 
glances at the sifting and purgative efficacy of Sophistic, 
but he immediately retracts the observation, as doing 
it too much honour. 

If such be a true account of what usually passes for 
Philosophy, and if the position of unphilosophic con 
sciousness be equally inadequate, where, in contra- 

49 Meno, 90 A sq. ; with which applied equally to the most famous 
cf. all the dialogues contrasting the Athenian statesmen, we are told, 
Sophistic and Socratic theories of ibid. 515 C sqq. 

virtue: e.g. Hippias Minor, Prota- 5a Gorg. 458 E sq. ; 463 A sq. ; 

goras, Gorgias, the first book of 504 D sq. Cf. Theaet. 201 A sq.; 

the Republic, and ibid. vi. 495 Polit. 304 C. 

C sqq. 5J Gorg. 402 B sq. Demagogy is 

50 Prot. 313 C sqq. ; Soph. 223 compared to Cookery by Aristo- 
B-220 A ; Rep. vi. 495 C sq. phanes, Equites, 215 sq. 

51 Gorg. 517 Bsq. This judgment 

distinction to both, shall we seek for true Philo 
sophy ? 

It has already been shown that Plato gives to the 
f | idea of Philosophy a far larger signification than that 
to which we are now accustomed : while we understand 
by it only a definite manner of thought, it is to him 
quite as essentially a concern of life ; nay, this practical >\ 
element is the first, the universal groundwork, without 
which he cannot conceive the theoretic element at allv x 
Heroin he closely resembles Socrates, whose philosophy 
entirely coincided with his personal character ; and 
though Plato transcended this narrowness of the So- 
cratic view in order to develope the idea into a system, 
he himself never apprehended Philosophy in so ex 
clusively a theoretic light as Aristotle. 54 If there 
fore we would understand his determinations of the 
essence and problem of Philosophy, we must begin 
with its derivation from practical necessity, with the/ 
description of the philosophic impulse. The theoretic 
form of Philosophy, the philosophic method, will oc 
cupy only the second place ; thirdly, and arising from 
both, we get Plato s collective view of Philosophy, and 
he philosophic education of men. 

The general groundwork of Philosophy is the philo 
sophic impulse. But as with Socrates this never took 
;he purely theoretic form of an intellectual impulse, 
3ut simultaneously with the personal acquisition of 
knowledge aimed directly at the engendering of know- 
edge and virtue in others ; so with Plato it is essen- 
ially related to the practical realisation of truth, and 

54 Cf. pp. 144, 14G. 


is therefore more exactly defined as generative impulse 
or Eros. Philosophy, according to him, springs, like 
all higher life, from inspiration or enthusiasm (/wvm). 55 
When the remembrance of the archetypes which the 
soul beheld in its heavenly existence awakens in it at 
sight of the earthly copies, it is possessed with a won 
dering delight, is beside itself and falls into an ecstasy ; 56 
and herein, in the overpowering contrast of the Idea 
with the Phenomenon, lies the ultimate ground of 
that wonder which Plato calls the beginning of Phi 
losophy: 57 of that bewilderment, that burning pain 
which consumes every noble spirit when first the pre 
sentiment of a higher than itself arises in it, 5 s of 
that singularity and maladroitness in worldly matters, 
which to the superficial gaze is the most striking trait 
in the philosopher. 59 The reason that this ideal en 
thusiasni assumes the form of love is said in the I 
Phredrus (250 B, D) to be the special brightness] 

55 Religious or artistic inspira- tionsenconpas> ing ordinary notions 

tion generally is called frenzy in or envisagements. It is precisely 

Greek. Cf. quotations in vol. i. these in which the Idea announces 

G51, 1 ; 759, 3 ; and Heraclitus on itself indirectly, 
p. Plat. Pyth. orac. c. 6, p. 397. M Phredr. 251 A sq. ; Syrnp. 

5 Phtedr. 244 A sq. ; 249 D ; Ion, 215 I.) sq. (v. Part i. p. 153) ; 2 1 s A 

251 B. The unconditioned praise sq. ; Theset. 149 A, 151 A ; Pep. 

given in the former of these passages vii. 515 E ; Mono, 80 A. 
to divine inspiration is in keeping 59 Theaet. 173 C sqq. ; 175 P>, E; 

E sq. (cf. 

Phfcdrns itself, 248 D. ~>q., 221 1) sq., and my "translation, 

w Thet. 155 D; cf. Arist, Part i. p. 8(3. Cf. Schwegler, on the 

Metaph. i. 2; 982 b. 12. This Composition of Plato s Symposium, 

wonder is, loc. fit., derived from the p. 9 sqq. ; Steinhart, PI. W. iv. 

intuition of the various contradic- 258, &c. 

EROS, 193 

which distinguishes the visible copies of the beautiful 
above those of all other ideas : therefore it is that they 
make the strongest impression on the mind. In the 
Symposium, this phenomenon is more precisely ac 
counted for by the striving after immortality of mortal 
nature: having none of the divine unchangeableness, 
it feels the necessity of sustaining itself by continual 
self-propagation. This propagative impulse is love. 60 
Love therefore on the one side springs from the higher, 
divinely related nature of man, 61 it is the yearning 
to become like the immortal. But on the other, it is no 
more than a yearning, not yet possession ; thus far it 
presupposes a want, and belongs only to the finite, not 
to the perfect divine Essence. 62 Love is consequently 
a middle term between having and not having, 
the transition from the one to the other; Eros is 
the son of Penia and Poros. 63 The object of this 
yearning endeavour is, in general, the Good ; or more 
exactly, the possession of the Good, of happiness ; for 
happiness is what all men desire. And therefore it 
aims at immortality, because with the desire for happi 
ness is directly given the wish that the possession of 
the Good may be eternal. 64 So Love is, generally i 
speaking, the endeavour of the finite to expand it 
self to infinity, to fill itself with what is eternal and 
imperishable, to generate something enduring. Thej 
external condition of Love s existence is the presence 

r Symp. 206 B sq.; cf. Laws, vi. LOG. cit. 202 B sq. ; 203 E sq. 
3 h ; iv. 721 B sq. 63 Loc> cit> 199 Q^ B . 


f Tores, the father of Eros, is 64 LOC. cit! 204 E-200 A 
called the son of Metis; v. note G6. 



of Beauty, 65 for this alone by its harmonious form, 
corresponding to the desire in ourselves, awakes desire 
for the infinite. 66 But Love is as various as Beauty, in 
kind and degree : he does not reveal himself from the 
beginning fully and perfectly ; rising step by step 
from incompleteness to completeness, he is realised in 
a graduated series of different forms. The first is the 
love of beautiful shapes, of one, and then of all : a 
- higher step is the love of beautiful souls, which ope- 

65 Loc. cit. 206 C sci. -209 B ; 
cf. rhsfidr. 250 B, D. 

66 The above may serve to ex 
plain the Myth in Symp. 203. Eros 
is a 8ai/Jiwv, one of the beings mid 
way between mortals and immor 
tals, mediating between them. Ac 
cordingly, ho is at once poor and 
rich, ugly and full of love for the 
beautiful, knowing nothing and 
ever striving after knowledge ; 
uniting the most contradictory 
qualities, because in Love the finite 
.and the infinite sides of our nature 
meet and find their unity. He is 
the son of Penia and Poros, be 
cause Love springs partly from 
man s need, partly from that 
higher faculty, which makes him 
able to get the thing needed ; (iropos 
is not Wealth, but Getting, Indus 
try). His father is called a son of 
Metis, because all gain or getting 
is the fruit of wit or cunning, and 
this particular gain, the gain of 
higher good, springs from the 
reasonable spiritual nature of 
man. And Eros is born on 
Aphrodite s birthday, because it 
is the revelation of the Beautiful 
that first awakens Love, soliciting 
the higher in human nature to 
fructify the lower, finite, needing 
element, and unite with it in the 

struggle towards the Good (cf. 
203 C with 206 C sq.). These 
are the main features of the doc 
trine, laid down clearly enough in 
the myth, and hitherto pretty 
generally agreed on (v. Susemihl, 
i. 393 sq., with his quotations ; 
and Deuschle, Plat. Myth. p. 13), 
with- only unimportant differences 
of interpretation in details. Any 
thing beyond this I class as poetic 
ornament, and I cannot, therefore, 
agree with the meaning seen by 
Susemihl, loc. cit., in the garden 
of Zeus and the drunkenness of 
Poros. Still less can I accept the 
interpretation given by Jahn (with 
the partial approval of Brandis, ii. 
a. 422 sq.) in his Dissertationcs 
Platonics, 64 sq. ; 249 sq., which 
is really a return to the Neo- 
Platonic expositions collected with 
learned industry by him on p. 136 
8 q. (cf. Steinhart, Plat. W. iv. 388 
sq.). According to Jahn, Metis 
means the divine reason, Poros 
and Aphrodite the Ideas of the 
Good and the Beautiful, Penia 
Matter, and Eros the human soul. 
This interpretation is as clearly 
excluded as the right one is un 
mistakably enunciated by what in 
the dialogue precedes and follows 
about Eros without metaphor. 

EROS. 195 

rates in moral words and efforts, in works of education, 
art, and legislation : a third is the love of beautiful 
sciences the seeking out of beauty wherever it may 3 
be found ; the highest of all is the love which rises up 
to the pure, shapeless, eternal and unchangeable beauty, 
unmixed with aught finite or material, to the Idea, 
which brings forth true knowledge and true virtue, and 
which alone attains the goal of Eros immortality. 67 If 
this be the first adequate realisation of that for which 
Eros strives, then plainly he has been aiming at 
nothing else from the very beginning ; all subordinate 
stages of his satisfaction were but imperfect and un 
certain attempts to seize on the Idea in its copies. 68 
Eros therefore, in his true nature, is the philosophic ]/ 
impulse, the striving for the representation of abso 
lute beauty, the struggle to inform the Finite with 
the Idea by means of speculative knowledge and a 

67 Symp. 208 K-212 A. In the aim and scope of what he 

the less fully developed exposition does. But this does not alter the 

of the Phaedraa, 249 D sq., this case ; the lower forms of love are 

distinction is barely hinted at, and only first steps to (Symp. 211 B 

the philosophic fyws is still in imme- sq.), or, if continued in, misundcr- 

(liate connection with Tcufepaffrla standings of, the true philosophic 

in the good sense. Eros. Properly, it is always the 

a This circumstance is over- (Joed and the enduring posses- 
looked by Deuschle, Plat. Myth, sion of the Good that all crave 
30, where he objects, as against (Symp. 205 D sq. ; Phrcdr. 249 D 
the comparison of fyws with the sq.). Immortality itself (the busi- 
philosophic impulse, that the ness, according to Plato, of all, 
former only coincides with the even sensuous love) is only to be 
letter in its highest completion, won through a philosophic life 
The proper object of Love, accord- (Phoxlr. 248 E; 256 A sq. ; Svmp 
ing to Plato, is primarily the 212 A, &c.). Plato does* not 
Beautiful as such, the Eternal, the merely understand by philosophy 
Idea ; this can at first be only scientific investigation, but, so far 
apprehended in its sensuous and as it bears relation to Truth and 
finite copies, and the lover gets Reality, every branch of human 
only by degrees any insight into activity. 



philosophic life; and all delight in any particular 
beauty is to be considered as a moment only, in the 
development of this impulse. 69 

^The philosophic impulse is then, in the first place, 
a striving for the possession of truth : but if we further 
enquire as to the means of attaining this possession, 
Plato answers (somewhat unexpectedly for his ordi 
nary enthusiastic admirers) The dialectic method. 70 
All other moral and spiritual training that whole course 
of preparation, which the Symposium has described to 
us, and the Republic will more exactly describe leads 
but to the threshold of philosophy : through her proper 
domain, Dialectic alone can guide us. That this must 

69 Besides the Phsedrus and the 
Symposium, the Lysis deserves 
mention here ; cf. chap. ii. 99. The 
result of the enquiry into the con 
cept of 0aos, p. 219 A, is Tb cure 
KO.KOV cure dyadbv &pa 5;a TO KO.KOV 
ical TO ex d P ov ToC ayadov <f>i\ov earlv 
ZveKa TOV dyaOov KCU (f>l\cv. And 
this formula suits the doctrine 
of the Symposium on _Eros com 
pletely. Love, according to the 
Symposium, springs from a defect 
and a need (5m TO KCIKOV, therefore, 
or as we have it more precisely in the 
Lysis, 218 C, 5id /caKoO vapovffiav), 
directs itself, for the sake of the 
absolute Good and Godlike (Ve/cct 
TOV dyadov], towards Beauty in 
eternal Existence (TOV dyaOov 
<j)l\oi>\ and belongs only to a 
being standing midway between 
Finite and Infinite (the OVTC KaKbv 
OVTC dya.Qbv). And in p. 218 A 
we find the dictum of Symposium 
203 E sq. that the Gods, or the 
wise in general, do not philoso 
phize, nor do the utterly ignorant, 

but only those who are midway 
between both given in almost 
the same words. If we arc not 
to suppose that, at the time of 
writing the Lysis, Plato had found 
the leading thoughts of his later 
system, there remains the hypo 
thesis, that the psychological ana 
lysis which is the basis of his later 
exposition had even then led him 
up to the point attainable from 
Socratic principles, but the farther 
metaphysical elucidation of these 
psychological phenomena did not 
come till afterwards. This view 
might gain, some confirmation 
from the fact that the Symposium 
199 C sq. makes Socrates say only 
what we get in the Lysis, whereas 
all advance on that is put in the 
mouth of Diotima. This circum 
stance, however, cannot be pressed 

70 Stegcr, Die Platonische Dia- 
lektik (Plat. Stud. i. Instr. 1869, 
p. 33 sq.), where passages in point 
are fully given. 


be superadded to the philosophic impulse is first 
announced in the Phasdrus, the representation of Eros 
in the earlier part of that dialogue being followed by 
an enquiry into the art of discourse further on. 71 And 
though at first the necessity of the latter method is 
established (261 C) on the wholly external ground that 
without it the end of eloquence, namely the guidance 
\ of souls, cannot be attained yet in the course of the 
a^ument this external view is again discarded (266 B, 
270vD). The Sophist, going more deeply into the 
matter (251 A, 253 E), shows that as some concepts 
allow, and others resist, mutual combination, there 
must necessarily be a science of Combination of 
Concepts, that is, Dialectic. The Philebus declares 
this science (16 B sqq.) to be the highest gift of 
the gods and the true fire of Prometheus, without which 
no workmanlike treatment of any subject is possible. 
Concerning the essential nature of Dialectic, we must 
premise that its object is exclusively the Idea : it 
is the instrument by means of which the pure Idea 
is freed from all sensuous form and presupposition, 
and developed. 72 It is therefore peculiar to the 

71 V. Schleiermacher, Introd. reXevryv Kara^aivrj cuV07?T< irzv- 

to the riisedrus, esp. p. 65 sq. ra.Tro.aiv ovdevi TrpoVxpw/ievos, dXX 

- lisp. vi. 511 B (v. supra, eiSeaiv aurcns 5i auruv els aura 

167): rb roLvvv erepov ^dvBave nal reXevra et s eidrj. IJop. \ii. 

T/J.Tju.a roO VOTITOV \eyovTa fj.e TOVTO, 532 A : tirav rts r$ 8ia.\6ye<r6ai 

ov ai/rbs 6 \6yos ctTrrerat rrj TOU eTrixeipr) &vev iraauv TWV alffOrjaeuv 

5ia\6yc<rdai Svvdfj,ei, ras vwodecreis 5td TOU \oyov CTT avr6 6 IGTIV 

OVK dpxas, dXXd ry tvrt. ZnacrTov 8p/J.g., K&V IJ.T] diroffrrj Trplv 

olov e7rt/3ci<rets re /cat &v avrb 6 tariv dyadbv av-y vo-f]<rei 

fJ-^XP 1 T v dwiroOfrou Xa/377, ^TT avTty yiyverai rt$ TOU 

tirl rT)v TOV iravrbs dpx^jv iwv, voyrov re Xei. . . . Ti oiV ; ov ?m- 

d /duei os avT7)s, ird\ii> aC ex&/J-fvos \HTtKr)i> TavTrjv rr\v iropeiav KaXe??; 

ruv e /cetV?7s exo/jLtvuv, ovrus tiri Ibid. 533 C: T) 8ia\(KriKT] /J.{0o8os 



philosopher; 73 for he alone can recognise Being in 
itself the essence and concept of things, 74 and by this 
knowledge can regulate all other arts and sciences. 76 
Dialectic has a double task avvaywyii and Siatptwf 
the Formation of concepts and their Classifica 
tion. 76 The first reduces the Many of experience 
to one Genus, the second divides this Genus organi 
cally into its Species, without breaking any of its 
natural articulations, or overlooking one division that 
really exists. He who is skilled to recognise the One 
concept pervading the Many and Divided and, con 
versely, to carry out the one concept methodically 
through the whole graduated scale of its sub-kinds 

identifies the true ruler with the 
true philosopher, we may transfer 
the assertion to philosophy. 

76 Heyder (Comparison of the 
Aristotelian and Hegelian Dialec 
tic, i. 49 sq.) is wrong in adding 
to these, as a third element, the 
Combination of Concepts. The 
passages to be presently quoted 
from the Phredrus, Philebus, and 
Sophist plainly show that Plato 
regards the business of Dialectic 
as finished in the determination 
and division of concepts. The 
Sophist specially shows that the 
knowledge of the universality of 
concepts is given in division ; 
and it would be contradictory to 
Plato s view to say that division 
limits off concepts from all others, 
while combination of concepts 
gives them their due relations to 
others. The Sophist tells us that 
this relation is given by showing 
how far the concepts are identical 
or different, i.e. by their spheres 
being limited off from each other. 

ravrrj Tropeverai, rots i>7ro#ecreis 
dvaipovcra ^TT avTTjv TTJV apx^ 
K.T.\. Phileb. 58 A. Dialectic 
is rj irepl TO 6V Kal TO oWws Kal TO 
Kara ravrbv del ire(pvxbs eTrtor?^??. 
Cf. following notes. 

73 Soph. 253 E : dXXa ^v r6 
ye 5ia\eKTiKov OVK &*XXy Suxretj, tl S 
eyu/Jiai, ir\T]v T Kadap&s re Kal 
dtKatus (f>i\o<ro(povvTi. (T. Phrcdr. 
278 D. 

74 Kep. v. end ; vi. 484 B. 

75 Phileb. 58 A. Dialectic is 
the science i] irdaav rr)v ye vvv 
\eyofj.^vtjv (Arithmetic, d eonietry, 
&c.) 71^0177. Euthyd. 290 B sq. : oi 5 
a 5 yew/j.eTpa.1 /cat darpovofiot Kal ol 
\oyiffriKoi 7rapa5t56a(rt drjirov TO?S 
dtaXeKTiKois KaraxprjffdaL avruv rots 
evprj/j-acriv, 6<rot ye avriJov JJ.T) Travrd- 
7ra<nv di>6r]Toi eicriv. Cratyl. 390 
C : the Dialectician has to over 
look the activity of the vop-oOer^ 
(here 6vo/j.aTo6^Tr)s}. The Poli- 
ticus, 305 B sq., gives the States 
man s art the earne relation to all 
practical arts ; but as the Re 
public (v. 473 C and passim) 


down to particulars, and, as a consequence of this 
procedure, to establish the mutual relations of con 
cepts, and the possibility or impossibility of their 
combination he is the true workman in Dialectic. 77 

Of these two elements of Dialectic, one, the Forma 
tion of concepts, had already been apprehended by 
Socrates, whose philosophic merit is essentially based 
on this fact. Plato throughout presupposes this So- 
cratic induction, and his own method with regard to it 
is generally distinguished from that of his master only 
by its more technical and conscious use. In the Con 
cept, the What of things is to be determined; not 
this or that quality only in them must be given, but 

77 Fhsedr. 265 D sq. (cf. 261 
K, And specially 273 1), 277 13) ; the 
art of speech has tsvo ensential 
elements: et s fj-lav re i8tav avvo- 
PUVTO. ayew TO. TToXXaxy Siea-n-ap- 
fj.fra, IV ^Kaarov bpib/u,evos 8ij\ov 
iroLr) irepl ov av del StSatr/ceti etfeX?? 
and ird\iv K<XT eiSrj SvvavOai re yu- 
veu>, KO.T apOpa 77 Trtyvxe, Kal /XT; 
.eirixeipe tv KarayvCovai KOLKOV jjiayci- 
pov rpbiry xpufJ-evov . . . KO.I TOVS 
duvafj,et>ovs avrb 5pq.v el p.ev 6 
/XT; irpoffayopei u, Oebs olde, 

6 ^at ; OVKOVV b ye TOVTO Swarbs 
Sp$v ftiav i8fai> Sid 

CKdffTOV KtfJ.fV 

Soph. 253 K sq. : p ov yuer eVi- 
(TT-fuj.^ Tiros dvayKOiiov dia T&V 
^byuv Tropfue<r6ai TQV opdus /j.e\\oi>- 
ra. dei^eii> irola Tro/ots avfj-^uve? rCcv 
~ytvuv Kal iroia &\\7j\a ov O^TO.<- , 
Kal 811 Kal 8ia Trdvruv el VwtxprFn 
&TT earlv, were <rv/ aTd 
elvai, Kal ird\iv tv rais diaiptacaii 
e^ St* tiXwv ertpa rijs Sicu/seVews 
atVm : --r6 Kara y^vrj SiaipficrOai 
Kal (j.r]T Tavrbv elSos erepov 
ffaaOai fj.r)0 erepov &v ravrbv, 


TroXXds er^pas virb /itay 

Trpiexo[Jitt>a?, Kal filav av 81 

TroAXcDi tv tvi \)vrin.ij.v*r\v, Kal 

TroXXds X i} pi* irdvTTj Sicopiainefas 

TOVTO 5 ?<TTii>, 77 re Koivuvetv e\-acrra 

Swarat, Kal b irr) ^, diaKpiveiv KO.TU. 

7<W Tri<rTaa6ai. Polit. 2S5 A : 

Phileb. 16 ( sq. ; vide subtcr, note 

( .-^. Only one of the elements 

here united in the concept of 

Dialectic is brought into promi 

nence by RepubRo vii. 537 ( . 

The disposition towards Dialectic, 

we are there told, consists in the 

ability to bring particulars under 

a^ concept 6 O-VVOTTTIK^ StaXe/crt- 

KOS, b 8 /x-5?, oil and in x. 596 A, 

the peculiarity of dialectic process 

is described as the seeking one 

general concept under which to 

bring the Many. Cf. Rep vii 

531 E-534 ]J, D ; Cratyl. 390 0. 

The dialectician is the man who 



the marks that distinguish them from all others ; 78 not 
the contingent in them, but the essential ; 79 for with 
that only is" Science concerned. 80 But the essence of 
things consists solely in that wherein all belonging to 
the same class agree, in the common attribute, The 
determination of the concept is therefore something 
quite other than the enumeration of the multiplicity 
comprehended within that concept : it has to do with 
that which is equally present in all particulars and 
individuals ; with the Universal, without which no par 
ticular can be understood, because it is contained in 
each particular and is presupposed by it. 81 Briefly, 
then, the concept must determine the Essence of 


can give account of his convictions 
in question ami answer, and this 
ability conies from \6yov eKdcrruv 
Xa/ZjScti etJ r?5$ ovcrias. 

78 Thcret. 208 D ; Polit. 285 A. 

79 V. e.g. Meno, 71 B: 6 8i ti)j 
oI5a ri cert, irws SLV oiroiov yt ri 

Euthyph. 11 A: KIV- 
& l&tfdvfipov, 
8n TTOT & 
j.oi avrov ov 

TrdOos 8t ri trepl avrov 
Gorg. 448 B sqq., where 
Polus is asked what Gorgias is, 
and on answering that his art is 
the sovereign ait, is informed that 
the question is not Trola ris ftrj i) 
Topyiov rexvt], o.\\a rls, 

60 V. supr. p. 175 sq. On this 
point, and the nature of real Being, 
fuller details in the exposition of 
the tlieory of Ideas. 

81 Meno, 71 D eq. Secrates 
asks what Virtue is. Meno re 
plies that the virtue of man is so 
and so, the virtue of woman so 
and so, &c., and is brought up by 
Socrates saying that he does not 

want a cy-t^os dperuv, but the jiu a 
d/>er77, not a Virtue, but Virtue 
(73 E) ; or, in other words (72 E), 
he wants that in which the virtue 
of man, woman, &c. is not sepa 
rate, but one and the same. So 
Theaet. 146 C sqq., where to So 
crates question, what Knowledge 
is, Thefetetus at -first answers 
witli an enumeration of the various 
sorts of knowledge, and is then 
told that he was not asked rivwv 
?) eirio T /i/ut rj, oi)5 6ir6cra.t TIV^S ov 
yap api6jnf)aai ai ras (3ov\6/J.ei>ot 
ypopeGa, dXXA yv&vai tTri<TTr]/ji.i>]v 
avrb 6 ri TTOT eortV : the thought 
of any special form of knowledge 
always presupposes the general 
concept of knowledge a/cim/a; is 
twurrfaM) vTrodrj/jidrwi ; with no 
concept of eTrto-T^iu; in general, 
there can be no concept of O-KVTIKT] 
in particular. Cf. Eu- 
D, 6 D (the enquiry is 
into the avrb air<^ 8/j.oiov nnl %x ov 
fj.iav TWO, IS^av the elSos avrb $ 
jravra. ra Sffii 8<rid tvnv\ Lach. 
191 D sq., and supr. p. 198. 


things, by establishing the distinguishing characteris- \ 
tics of (lasses. For this purpose Plato, following his 
muster, starts as much as possible from the known and ! 
universally acknowledged. He will not only express 
the truth, but will do so in such a manner that others 
may be convinced by it: 82 and he therefore requires 
that the progress of knowledge be brought about 
through examples, so that we may understand the un 
known from the known, and learn to recognise in the 
unknown, characteristics elsewhere familiar to us. 83 
This procedure is very usual with Plato. 84 It brings 
with it a clanger already perceived by Socrates. When 
we start from individual observations and examples, 
and above all from individual experiences, we must 
take care lest our concepts represent only particular 
sides of the objects in question, and not the whole of 
their essence. Socrates tried to escape this danger by 
means of that dialectical comparison of the different 
cases, in which we have learned to recognise one of the \ 
most important peculiarities of his method. The skill \ 
of Plato in this dialectic is also well known, and even 

2 Mcnn, 75 D : Set STJ Trpadrepfo do as is done in teaching di>dyeu> 

TTWS Kal 8ia\fKTiKUTepov diroKpive- irpurov <?TT ticfiva Iv ols ravrd 

<r0cu. tart dt fous TO SiaXe/crt/curre- TO.VTO. dpdus e56afci , dvdyovras Se 

poi>, f.i.r) phvov Ta.\t]0ri dTTOKpiveffdai, nOevai irapo. TO. /^TTCO yiyvw<TK6/J.ei a 

dXXa, Kai^i fKclvuv &v av -rrpo<TO- xa.i Trapa/iJciXXoi^ras cvdeiicvuvai rrjv 

^0X0777 dMvai 6 epUTU)[j.evos. Cf. ai/rriv ofjLOidTrjra . Kal Qixnv Iv d/JL- 

the quotations as to Socrates, Part ^orepcus oTxrav rats eruAwrXo/cats 

l ^?\!r V l *$ Af - rA - aiul tlie use of examples is 

loht. 277 L sqq. ; as children that, by putting together related 

in learning to read go wrong over cases, we get to recognise an un- 

the same letters, in complicated known as identical with a known. 
words, as they read easily in simple ** So Gorg. 448 li sq 449 D 

ones, so with us in regard to the Meno73Esqq. ; Theaet. 1461) sqq. : 

ruv irdvrwv: and we must Polit. 279 A sqq. 


his earliest works show him to have been in this respect 
the apt disciple of Socrates. But as he has given to 
the Socratic philosophy in general a more scientific 
form, so in this particular he requires a stricter pro 
cedure. The truth of the conceptual determination is 
not merely to be tested by individual instances which 
are always selected with a certain arbitrariness, but 
each assumption is to be developed in all its positive 
and negative consequences to prove its admissibility 
and necessity: all the results that may arise, on thej 
one hand from itself, and on the other from the oppo 
site hypothesis, are to be drawn out, and in this way 
we are to ascertain whether it is compatible with, and 
therefore required by, that which is elsewhere acknow 
ledged as truth. This is that hypothetic discussion of 
the concept which Plato so emphatically recommends 
as dialectic training, on the ground that thus alone can 
the correctness of presuppositions be perfectly tested. 85 

85 The principal passage to re- its consequences), XW <^ xal r68e 

fer to is "the Parmenides, 135 C ZTI TT/OOS Torfry iroieiv, HT] fj.6vov cl 

sqq. Socrates has been brought ZCTTIV eKaffTov virode^evov aKotrelv T& 

into perplexity by the objections to orv/j,paivoi>Ta e/c TTJS inroOfoews, dXXct 

the theory of Ideas, and Panne- Kal el /r/J eort TO avrb TOVTO VITOT L- 

nicies says to him: irpy yap, irpiv Oeadat el povXei/uLaXXovyvjuLvaffOTJi ai.. 

yvfjutaadrjvai, & Sowpares, bpL^eoOat And of this the whole of the second 

eTTixetpets KaXbv re TL Kal diKaiov part of the Parmenides gives a de- 

Kal ayadbv Kal fr %KO.GTOV r&v eiStDj/ tailed illustration. (Jf. Phsedo, 101 

KO\T] fj.ev olv Kal 6eia, eS fodi, r] I): eid^Tis avTTJsrTJs VTrcOcaeus ZX OL - 

6/o/xTj ty opyucTs tirl TOI)S XcVyows ?X- TO, -x,alpLV tyy* CLV Kal OVK 

KVffov 5e ffavrbv Kal ytpvaffai fj.a\\ov vato, ws &v TO, CCTT eKtivrj 

dia rrjs SOKOUO-T?? axprivrov clvai Kal flUC^Oto, ei aoi dXX??Xois 

i 7ro T&V TroXXwj dSoXe- 8ta0o. ^er; eireidr) de e/ce^T 

tri vtos el d 8e fJ-r], ere ae 5i86vai \6yov, uffatrus av 5t5oi r;s, 

T? dX^eia. Tis ovv b a\\rjv ad vir66eaiv viroBtflcvos, TJTIS 

To67ros, <f>dvat, & \IapiJ.vL8rj, TTJS TUV avudev f3e\TicrT-r)(paii>OLTO, ews fir I 

yv/J.vaaias ; Oi5ros, elirelv, Sv-rrep TJKOV- TI IKUVOV ^X^ots, a/xa 5^ OVK av <pvpcto, 

eras Zfyuvos (the indirect proof of wa-nep ol avriXoyiKol irepL re rijs dp- 

an assumption by development of x^ s StaXeyo/xevos Kal rCiv e eKeL- 


The method seems to have been motived not only by 
t- the Socratic teaching, but also by the Eleatic dialectic 
i as worked out by Zeno ; 8G Zeno, however, only aims at 
> refuting the ordinary notions by inference; Plato, as a 
true Socratic, has for his ultimate end a positive result, 
an exhaustive definition of the concept. And as he 
insists that with each assumption its opposite also shall 
be thoroughly sifted, in the manner described his 
method where fully carried out, as in the Parmenides, 
tak\s the form of an antinomic exposition, the ultimate 
aim of which is, by refuting one-sided presuppositions, 
to establish those that are true. But however great 
may be the value set by Plato upon this hypothetic 
development of the concept, it is still, as he himself 
says, only a preparation, or, more exactly, a moment in 
the dialectic method a part of that which Aristotle 

vys up/ uv, elwep fiovXoio rt TWI> KparvXe, ovbtv effriv dirb\6yrj/ji.a 

OVTUV evptiv. (P. 100 A, treats not ei yap TO wp&Tov a(pa\ds 6 Ti0e/ji.ei>os 

of the proof of the principles, but TaXXa -rjo-rj trpbs TOVT e/Stdfero /c?.t 

their application to particulars.) curry v/j.<pwi>f ii> -fjvdyKa^ev, ovdcv 

Meno, H<> K : avyx&P naov e inro- &TOTTOV . . . ra Xonrd Trd/j-iroXXa ijorj 

Bcaeus avrb ffKoireivGai. . .Xt yw 5e TO 6i>ra eTrd/jLeva b^o\oyelv dXX^Xots 

e$ vTToOtffeus w5e, wffirep oi ycu/j.e- Set 77 irfpi T^$ dpxijs Tra^ros Trpdy- 

Tfiai 7roXXd\-ts (FKOirovvrai. . . . cl [j.v yuaros TtcLvrl avftpi rbv TrcXiV \6yov 

fffTi TOUTO 70 XWpiOJ TOIOVTOV 010V flfOl Kdl T7]l> TToXXT/J/ ffK^lV, fire 6p- 

irapd TTJJ/ doOflffait avrbv TTOL- 0ws etre JUT) VTrbKeira 

farevavTa eXXetetv TOIOVT<? %wp^w, Tacrddays iKavu$,Ta Xocird eKeivrj 0at- 
olov a.v avrb TO>ov -fj &\\o fe<rdat eirofj-eva -for it is ni terwarcls 

TI av/j-alveiv /J.OL ZoKet, KO.I &\\o av, shown that ( Vatylus one-sided sup- 

el dovvaTcv iffTi raCra -naOtiv. (^ . position becomes involved in con- 

llt p. vii. ;"). 54 B sq. There is only tradictions in its consequence be- 

:in apparent contradiction in the cause the dpxy has no real proof. 
Oratylu?, 436 ( sq., where the re- 8(i This he shows by the intro- 

mark fj-tyicTov 8e aoi tai w TtKn-fipiov duction and investiture of the 

OTL OVK tff<pa\Tai T^S a\T)6fias b TiOt- Parnienides : the whole procedure 

fiews ov yap av TTOTC OVTW ^yu0w- of the dialogue reminds one forcibly 

va i]v ai)ry diravTa is met by the of Zeno s method. Cf. vol. i. 494 

answer : dXXd TOVTO fji,tt>, cD yaftt -l!M) sqq. 


calls induction : for its aim is to enquire into the 
truth of concepts, and to make possible their right 
definition. If the presuppositions of unphilosophic con- I 
sciousness are subjected to this treatment, they are 
refuted and annulled in the Idea ; if it is applied to | 
philosophic propositions, as in the Parmenides, these 
receive their dialectical establishment and more exact 
determination : but if by this process we have arrived j 
at the Idea as the Unconditioned the indirect develop 
ment of thought must give place to the direct, the j 
analytic to the synthetic. 87 

We have remarked before that the speciality of the 
Synthetic method lies, according to Plato, in Classifi 
cation or Division. As the Concept expresses the 
common attribute wherein a number of things agree, 
Division expresses the differences by which a class is 

87 Brandis (Gr.-rom. Phil. ii. a. parison of Aristotelian and Hege- 
264) calls this <! U7ro0e0-ews <TKO- Han Dialectic, i. 99 sqq.-113 sqq.) 
ireiv a higher process of dialectic in thinking that _the hypothetic- 
completing Division. He has gene- dialectic process aims not so much 
rally brought out this side of at the introduction and verification 
Plato s dialectic acutely and cor- of means whereby Concepts in 
rectly ; but I cannot agree with themselves are explained or limited, 
him here. The object is not to as at the introduction and verifi- 
find a corrective for Division, but cation of certain Combinations of 
to determine the truth of the viro- Concepts. Apart from what I have 
0^0-as, i.e. the ris-lit mental grasp observed (note 70), this view will 
of the Concepts on which an en- not agree with Plato s own expla- 
quiry proceeds : and this is exem- nations, that throughout, the object 
pitted in the Meno, the Parmenides, of this process is only to test the 
\ and the Protagoras before them, 329 iVo0&rets, the correctness of the 
C sqq. And again, this <? U7ro0<?<rews leading Concepts. Heyder cannot 
a-KOireiv seems to me not to be es- quote Aiist. Metaph. xiii. 4, 1078 
sentially separate from the elements b. 25 on his side, and with as little 
of Dialectic above mentioned (form- reason can he appeal to the pro- 
ation of Concepts, and Division), cedure of Plato s Parmenides, which 
but to belong to the former of them, is expressly concerned with ij 
as the critico-dialectical test of vestigating the Concepts of Unity 
rightly applied Induction. I can- and Being, 
not either agree with Heyder (Com- 



- separated into its kinds. 88 He, therefore, who would 
make a right division must not introduce arbitrary 

" distinctions into things, but seek out those already 

existing in them the natural articulations of the con 
ceptual group. 89 For this purpose two things are to 

1 be observed, :l pat the division is to be according to 
real differences of Kind, not merely Quantitative dis- 

1 parity ; j fcnd that the intermediate links by which the 
lower kinds are connected with the higher are not to be 
passed over. 90 The former is necessary in order to obtain 

^a logical, and not a merely external division ; 91 the latter, 
that we may judge rightly the relation of concepts, and 
learn to combine the unity of the class with the multi- 

^ 8 _ s Phaei!r.2i,5E(v.p.l99?); Polit. 
285 A : did 8e TO fj-rj /car ei8r) avv- 
ci6i<rdai ffKOTrelv diaipovfj-tvovs raurd 
re TOffouTov dizcfiepovTa v[j.8d\\ov- 
ffiv ei/Ovs et y TavTov 8/j.oia, 
i Kal TovvavTiov ai5 TOVTOV dpuffiv 
| fTepa ov /card fJ-eprj diaipovvTes, 8eov, 
OTav /j.ev TTfV TUV TTO\\UV TIS irpo- 
Tepov aiffdrfTai KOivwvlav, U,T] irpoa- 
Taadai irplv av ev avTrf TO.S 5ta0o- 

i8r] Trdffas, 6ir6aai -rrep iv 
/rat, rds 8e av iravTodi 
, OTav ev 

<rOai, Trplv CLV ^v/j-Travra TO, ot /ce?a 
/xias 6/j.oi6TT]Tos ep^as ytvovs 
ovfflq, Trepi(3d\r)Tai. 
1U This is the T^vttv /car apOpa. 
often insisted on by Plato : 
Phsedr. loc. cit. Ibid. 272 D: /car 
Te diatpeiadai rd OVTO. Kal fj.ia 
. Ko.0 $v e/ca<rroj> 7repi\a/ui.pdveii>. 
277 B: KaO avTb re TTO.V bpLe<rda.i. . . 
6piadfj.ev6s re TrdXt^ /car fiSr) /ue xpt 
rou dr/xTjroy T^veiv. Polit. 287 C : 
irard ^^77 Tolvvv avTas olov ifpeiov 
SiaipuneBa. Hep. v. 454 A: the 
main reason of Eristic error is r6 

(j.rj ouvao~6ai /car eidrj 8iaipov/u(.ei oi 
rb \ey6fj.ei>ov eVta/coTreip, dXXa /car 
auTo TO oVo/xa Stw/ceti roO 
Trjv tvat>Tiu<Tii>. Cf. note 92. 

90 Polit. 262 A: /XT; fffJ.iKpbvfj.6- 
piov v Trpbs /j.eyd\a Kai TroXXd d0at- 
pu/j.ev, fj.r)8 eioi/s X u pk dXXa rb 
yu^po? a/za eTSos e x^rw. 

91 Cf. foregoing note and Polit. 
2G3 A sqq. : yfros Kal ptpos <i;s ov 
TO.VTOV e<7Tov, dXX eYepc^ aXXv^Xoii 
. . .e?56j re Kal ju.e pos %Tepov dXX^Xwi/ 
eifat. . .u;s eI5oy oTav TJ rou, Kal 

avTO dvayKaicv elvat TOV irpd- 
s, OTOVirep av eTSos X^yrjTat. 
5e elSos ovdefjila dvdyKTj. AVe 
get a hint of this distinction in the 
Protagoras, 329 D, in the question 
(anticipating Aristotle s distinc 
tion of 6fj.oiofji.epts and dvofj.oiofj.epes) 
whether the alleged parts of vir 
tue arc as distinct as the parts of 
the face (nose and mouth, for in 
stance), or only wo~Trep TO. rou xpuaoO 
fj.6pia ovdev Siatp^pec rd eTtpa r&v 
Kal TOV 6 Xov, &\\ 



plicity of that which is comprehended under it. 92 The 
first is conditioned by the second ; for only by a 
regular progression from universal to particular can 
we be sure that the kinds are rightly determined, and 
that merely collective concepts are not confounded 
with concepts of kind. 93 The problem is to survey 
logically, by means of a complete and methodical 

9 - Phileb. 16 C : it is one of the 
most important discoveries, a true 
fire of Prometheus for science, cbs 
e e^os i*.ev /cat e/c TroXXtDj UVTUV r&v 
del Xeyo/x.eVwf drai,7r^oas 5e/cal aTret- 
piav ev auTots %V/J.<J)VTOI> iyj^vTUV. 
oew ovv fyuas TOVTUV oi rw 5ta/ce/co- 

del /xt af ioeav irepi iravros 
eKdarore 0fi&ovi farcif evprja-eiv 
yap evovvav eav o$f yueraXd/Sw/xej , 
/jiera [Jiiav dvo e i TTWS eiffl, cr/co7reu>, el 
5e fJt,Tj, Tpeis TJ TLva d\\ov dpid^bv 
/cat TUJV eV eKeivdov e/caoroy (we 
should either read /c. T&V cv e/cei^ 
e/c. with Stallbaum, ad loc., or ical 

eKacrTov) TrdXtv 

7r P & v T & Ka 
OTI. v Kai TroXXa Kat dirtLpd e<m 
povov i8r] rtr, d\Xct /cat oTrocra TTJV 
8 TOV direipov ideav TT/JOJ TO TT~\TJ9os 
fjLy irpoaQepeiv, irplv &v TIS rov dpid- 
yttoV aurou TrdVra Karidrj rov /xera^i) 
TOV direipov re /cat rou evjs rbre 
5 TJ8f] rb v eKavTov r&v Trdvruv eis 
TJ dwcipov fji.edevro. %at/3et// eq.v. This 
is revealed of the gods : 01 5 vvv 

TVX.UGI rl TroXXd darrov /cat fipaov- 
repov TTOiovcri roj SCOVTOS, /nerd 5 
TO v Aireipa ev6us rd oe 
O.VTOVS fK(pcuyet, ots S 
TO re 5taXe/crt/ca)s ird Kiv /cat TO epi- 
ort/ctDs r//4as 7rotet(70at Trpos aXX-?;- 
Xoi s TOI)S \6yovs (with the latter 
of. ibid. 15 D ; Phsedr. 261 1) ; Rep. 
vii. 539 B). Schaarschmidt, Samml. 
d. plat. Schr. 298 sq., tries to show in 

this place a misunderstanding of 
Aristotle s statements as to the ele 
ments of the Ideas, and a consequent 
proof of the spuriousness of the PhU 
lebus. It has been, however, already 
pointed out (p. 398 sq.) that Aris 
totle used the Philebus as a work 
of Plato s ; and Schaarschmidt s ob- 
ject ; on really rests on an incorrect 
interpretation of the passage before 
us. We have not to do here witt 
the question as to the final meta< 
physical elements of things (still 
less, as Schaarschmidt says, wi jl 
those of material things as sucl,^ 
but simply with the logical per 
ception that in^all -Being-thcie is 
unity and multiplicity, so far as on 
one side every class of existent 
may be reduced to one generic con 
cept, and on the other every generic 
concept is brought before us in a 
multiplicity of individuals. This 
multiplicity is not merely an 
unlimited multiplicity (ctTretpoj), 
but also a limited, in so far as the 
generic concept resolves itself, not 
directly into an indeterminate num 
ber of individuals, but into a de 
terminate number of species and 
subordinate species in succession : 
the indeterminate manifold of in 
dividuals, susceptible of no further 
articulation, only begins with the 
lowest limit of this conceptual divi 
sion. 1 fail to see anything un- 
Platonic in thi.-j. 


enumeration of its divisions and subdivisions, the 
whole area included under a class; to follow all the 
ramifications of the concepts to the point where their 
regular co-articulated series ends and the indefinite mul 
tiplicity of the phenomenon begins. By this method 
it is shown whether concepts are identical or diverse, 
in what respect they fall or do not fall under the same 
higher idea ; how far they are consequently allied or 
opposed, capable of combination or the reverse, in a 
word, their reciprocal relation is established, and we 
are enabled by this knowledge to make a methodical 
descent from the highest universal to the particular, 
to the very confines of the ideal world. 94 But while 
insisting on the continuity of the progression and the 
completeness of all intermediate links, Plato as con 
stantly urges that we should start from the simplest 
divisions. What he prefers, therefore, is bisection, 
which becomes quadrisection, when two grounds of 
division cross : 05 but where such a classification is imprac 
ticable, some other must be chosen which approaches 
dichotomy as nearly as the given case will allow. 96 

93 Polit, 262 B (cf. 264 A) : a treating the infinitely various races 

...ore hasty procedure has some- of non-Greeks as one race, 
thing wrong about it; dXXd ydp, w Si V. supr. notes 92 and 7 J. 

<t>i\e, \eirTovpyfiv (to go immedi- Plato has no fixed phrase for the 

ately into details) OUK dcr0aXes, 8ia division of Genus and Species ex- 

utcruv 5 dcr0aXe ? (7Te / coj iVj/at re>- pressed in this and the related pas- 

OVTO.S, /cat fia\\ov io^ats 6v TIS sages : 7^05 (which is not frequent) 

irpovTvyxdvot. TOUTO 5e 5ia<f>pi rb and eldos arc equivalents with him 

TTO.V -rrpbs ras ^7/r^crets. An ex- (e.g. Soph. 253 D; Polit. 262 D 

ample _of this faulty procedure is sq. ; 263 A ; vid. supr. note 91), and 

;hen p;ivcn in the division of man- in Tim. 57 C sq. he absolutely uses 

and into Hellenes and Barbarians, the former = species, the latter = 

in w Inch one step is taken from the uenus : rav TCHS eideffi yev-n 

most universal to the most par- "" s > /cara TrXdros and Kara 

ocular, and the mistake is made of rfyvciv. Soph. 266 A. 


A completed logical system is not to be found in 
Plato ; and neither by inferencesxfrom his own method, 
nor by combination of single incidental expressions, are 
we justified in supplying this want. The whole gist 
of the question is, How far did he enunciate the laws of 
thought (which, in common with every reasoning man, 
he must certainly have followed) in the shape of 
logical rules, and systematise those individual ob 
servations concerning the forms and conditions of our 
thought which occasionally obtruded themselves upon 
him into a distinct theory ? This he has only done in 
the two points that have just been considered. For 
the rest, his writings do indeed contain hints and germs 
of the later logic, but no comprehensive combination 
and development of these. Thus he sometimes says 
that all our convictions must agree; 97 that contradic 
tory determinations cannot at the same time belong to 
one and the same thing : 98 that it is a proof of error, if 
concerning the same thing the opposite in the same 
reference is affirmed. 99 He also declares that knowledge 

06 Phileb. loc cit. ; Polit. 287 C : 162 D ; 103 C ; Theset. 190 B. In 

Kara /j.4\r) Tolwv avras . . . Sicu/ow/xe- the world of phenomena, opposite 

6a, eTretSr? Si xa a8wa.Tovfj.ev del yap properties are seen combined in/ 

ei s rbv eyyvrara 6 ri /xctXiara re/Jive iv one subject: but, according toj 

&pi0nbv def. The Sophist (218 D- Plato, as will be shown presently, ! 

231 E-235Bsq. ; 264 C sqq.) gives these properties do not belong to: 

elaborate instances of dichotomy the things simultaneously : they, 

carried out in detail ; cf. Polit. 258 arc detached in the flux of Becom- 

B-267 C ; 279 C sqq. ing : and the subjects themselves 

97 E.g. Phaxlo, 100 A; Laws, v. are not simple but composite sub- 
746 C. stances; so the properties are not, 

98 Rep.iv.436B:3^Xoi 6 rtTai)r6 strictly speaking, found together 
ravavria iroitiv ?} ira<rx. e v Kara rav- in One and the Same. Cf. Uep. 
rbv ye /cat irpbs TOLVTOV OVK ede^crei loc. cit. ; Phwdo, 102 D sqq. ; Parm. 
&aa, wore idv irov ctpiffKUficv tv 128 E sqq. ; Soph. 258 E sqq. 
atfrots raura ytyvfacva, d^eOa 93 Soph. 230 B ; Kep. x. 602 E. 
#rt ou ravrov fy d\\a TrXeiw. Phfedo, 

LOGIC. 209 

can only exist when we are conscious of the reasons for 
our assumptions. 100 But though we may here recog 
nise the two laws of modern logic the Law of Con- i 
tradictories and that of the Sufficient Reason, 101 Plato ! 
nowhere says that all rules of thought may be reduced 
to these two propositions. He has indeed enunciated 
them, but he has not yet placed them as the most uni 
versal principles at the apex of the science of thought. 
Further, when he investigates the nature of concepts, 
the combination in them of the One and the Many, the 
possibility of their being connected, their mutual com 
patibility and incompatibility, the relations of Genus 
and Species, in all this he considers concepts, not as 
the product of our thought, but as something actually 
and absolutely existing independently of it : Logic is j/ 
still veiled in Metaphysics. These enquiries, and others I 
connected with them, into the conditions of truth and 
error, we must for that reason relegate to another 
place. In the remark that all discourse consists in the 
union of the concept of a predicate with that of a sub 
ject ; 102 and that thought, as discourse without sound, is 
nothing else than affirming or denying, 103 we can trace 

100 Cf. p. 174 and Tim. 28 A. bination of the &vo^a denoting an 

N* Tennemann, S.yst. d. ^plat. ovaia with the prj/na, expressing a 

Phil. ii. 217 sqq. ; Brandis, ii. a. doing or not doing 

260 sq. 103 Thea3t. 189 E: r6 dt dia- 

- Soph. 259 E: if the combi- voetff6aiap 67repey&Ka\eis. . . \6yov 

nation of concepts is denied (as by Sv O.VTT] irpbs avTTjv 17 \fsvxn 5tee>- 

Anti.sthenes), the possibility of dis- xercu . . . avrrj eavrijv epurwaa Kal 

course is taken away : dia yap TTJV diroKpivofj.^ Kal <pd<rKov(ra Kal ov 

dXXTjXwv rCiv ddui> ffVfj.irXoKrjv 6 (pdffKOvaa. So Soph.263 E (v.supr.p. 

\6yos ytyovevw iv. Ibid. 26 B: mere 158, 17), and immediately, Kal ^v 

6v6fj.ara, like Lion, Goat, Horse, iv \6yois avrol la^v f>v . . . (pdaiv 

and mere verbs like paSifa, Tpfai, re Kal dir6(t>a<ni> opinion (56a) is 

Ka6i>8ei : give no continued mean- therefore an affirmation or denial 

ing : this is only given by (lie com- without discourse. 


only the first, though very important, beginnings of 
the theory of judgments. Still less can a doctrine of 
syllogisms be derived from Platonic intimations ; lw 
and though, in the method of divisions, there is fore 
shadowed the demonstrative process by which Aristotle 
descends from the universal to the particular, we must 
remember that it is precisely the syllogistic medium 
of this progression that is here wanting. 105 On the 
whole, therefore, though we cannot but recognise in 
Plato essential elements of the Aristotelian logic, it 
would be a mistake to force these out of their original 
connection in order to construct from them a Platonic 
logic on a later model. 106 

In relation to his scientific method, Plato also dis 
cusses the question of the significance of language for 
Philosophy. An opening for such a discussion was 
given him on several sides. 107 Among the older philo 
sophers, Heraclitus especially had laid stress on lin- 

104 E g the passages quoted p. 106 Tenncmann makes this mis- 
174 12; cf. Polit. 280 A; Crat. take, loc. cit. pp. 214-259 : though 
412 A; Phileb. 11 B. he observes correctly enough that 

105 Aristotle speaks clearly as to we must not (as Engel does in his 

the difference of the two methods, 
Anal. Prior, i. 31 ; Anal. Post. ii. 

Enquiry into a method of develop- 

,1. rrior. i. 01 ; ^viun. J.UBU. i,. ing the" Logic of Plato s^ Dialogues) 

D He calls Division ofo^ d<r0^s lay down, in an exposition of his 

ff v\\ayiffpbs, and points out that logic, all the rules actually fol- 

its defect lies in the minor being lowed by Plato. Prantl s procedure 

assumed without demonstration (Gesch. d. Log. i. 59 sqq.) is much 

(e g tiivdpwiros f <<, &v0pwTros ire^bv}. more accurate. 

He is therefore enabled to say 107 Cf. on what follows Classen, 

(Soph. Elench. 34, 183 b. 34), De Gramm. Gr. Primordiis (Bonn, 

without disparagement of Plato s 1829), p. 15 sqq. ; Lersch, Sprach- 

Division, that the subjects treated philos. der Altcn, i. lO^qq. ; ii. 4 

of in the Topics (among which the sqq. ; Steinhart, PL WW. 11. 535 

Conclusion stands in the first series sq. ; Steinthal, Gesch. d. Sprach- 

here the Conclusion of Proba- wissensch. bei (Jr. u. Rom. 72 

bjlity ) have never before received sqq. 
any scientific discussion. 



guistic expression ; 108 and indeed the Greeks in general, 
with their quick wit and ready tongues, were fond of 
deriving and playing upon the words they used. 109 
Various sophists had afterwards occupied themselves 
with philosophical questions, 110 while at the same time 
the Sophistic art of disputation necessitated a closer 
study of forms of speech, and the relation of .expression 
to thought. 111 Of the same date are also extant en 
quiries of Democritus concerning Speech; 112 and it is 
clear from the Platonic Cratylus that in the school of 
Heraclitus the principle that everything has its natural 
name, and from names the nature of things is infallibly 
to be known 113 had led to endless and most arbitrary play 
upon etymologies. This seems to have been likewise the 
case in the School of Anaxagoras. 114 Among the Socra- 

108 We cannot, however, point 
out any really scientific enunciation 
of his on speech (cf. vol. i. 588, 
2), and even Schuster (Heracl. 318 
sq.) Joes not appear to have made 
much of this point. Even if He 
raclitus did say that speech was 
given to men by the gods, or re 
marked incidentally that the very 
name shows the Being of the thing 
(both of which are possible), this 
would not warrant our ascribing to 
him a definite theory of speech. 
Still less can any such thing be 
sought for in Pythagoras or his 
school : cf. loc. cit. 410, 1. 

109 Cf. the instances quoted by 
Lersch, iii. 3 gqq. from poets. 

110 Cf. vol. i. 932 sq. 

111 V. loc. cit. 913 sq. : cf. p. 903. 
12 Cf. vol. i. 745, 1 : and Diog. 

ix. 48, who names some of De 
mocritus writings on vevbal ex 

113 Crat. 383 A ; 428 E sqq. ; 435 
D ; 438 .0 ; 439 A ; 440 C ; Lersch, 
i. 30 ; and Lassalle, Heracl. ii. 394 ; 
compare Hippocr. de Arte, ii. b. i. 
7 K : TO, [j.v yap 6v6jj,ara <f>vjios 
vofj.odcT-fitJ.a.Ta ean. But w.e cannot 
draw any inference from this as to 
Heraclitus doctrines : as Steinthal, 
loc. cit. 90, remarks, Hippocrates 
continues, TO. 82 6i5ca ou vo/j.oOe- 
TT^uara dXXa/SXaa-T^ara; he knows 
the doctrine of Ideas, and, with 
Plato (v. subt, p. 213), attaches 
greater importance to the know 
ledge of conccp .s than the know 
ledge of names. We have no right 
to derive what he says on the latter 
from Heraclitus, especially with 
the ( ratylus as a much more ob 
vious source for him to draw on. 

114 Crat, 412 C sqq. Plato herq 
says that the name of the Sinaiov 
is thus explained by the supporters 
of an universal llux in things ; 

p 2 


tics, Antisthenes had written on names and languages as 
connected with his dialectical theories. 115 And to say 
nothing of these predecessors, it was necessary for a 
philosopher like Plato, 116 who distinctly acknowledged 
the close affinity between speech and thought, to 
make up his mind as to the significance of language for 
knowledge. It was of the greatest consequence to the 
Ideal philosophy to ascertain what worth attached to 
words, and how far a true imitation of things might 
be recognised in them. His ultimate conclusion, how 
ever, is only this : that Philosophy must go her own 
way independently of Philology. In the Cratylus 117 he 
shows that language is by no means to be regarded as 
the product of an arbitrary enactment, of which each 
man may dispose as he likes : for if there be any truth, 
and if everything has its determinate essence, those 
names alone can be true which, corresponding to the 
nature of things, instruct us with regard to their 
essence; 118 which, in other words, rightly imitate 
things. This is the problem of speech : To provide us 
with a picture, not of the external phenomenon, but of the 

there is a something which pervades Zu;/c/)arej, TO.VTO. a.KrjKotva.1 TOV 

the flux, and ^TrirpoTretfet TO, &\\a Ka.1 oik avrocrxeSidfctJ . 

Travra 8iaii6v ; and the name Ai a is 15 Cf. part i. p. 250 r 7. 

connected with this. If we enquire 116 V. siipr. p. 158, 17 ; and note 

what this is, one answer will be, 103 of this chapter. 

the Sun ; another Fire ; a third, not 117 Of. on the interpretation of 

Fire itself, but rb dep^bv TO ev r$ this dialogue Schleiermacher, PI. 

wvpl fvbv: while a fourth, ridi- W. ii. 2, 1 sqq. ; Braudis, ii. A 284 

culing them all, will make the sqq. ; Steinhart, PI. W. ii. 543 

SlKaiov equivalent to Anaxagoras sqq. ; and specially Deuschle, Die j 

vovs. Cf. Pt. i. 804, 1. Plato Plat. Sprachphil. (Marb. 1852), who [ 

seems to have some definite treatise is followed almost throughout byi 

in view which brought all these Susemihl, Genet. Entvv. 144 sqq. 

etymologies together ; for Hermo- 8 V. 385 E-390 A. 
gones says, 413 D, <pa.Lvci pot, w 


essence of things ; 119 and this it accomplishes by express 
ing the properties of things in sounds, which require cor 
responding conditions and move?nents on the part of 
the organ of speech. 120 On the other hand, however, 
as Plato remarks, we must not forget that a picture 
never completely reproduces its subject ; and that as 
in painting, that other art of imitation, there are better 
and worse artists, so also the makers of words may have 
committed mistakes which perhaps may run through 
a whole language. 121 This may explain why particular 
words are not always logically formed, 122 and why, as a 
whole, they do not represent one and the same view of 
the world. There are many etymologies, for instance, 
on which the Heraclitean doctrine of the flux of all 
things is based ; la3 but against all of them others might 
be advanced with equal conclusiveness to support the 
opposite view. 124 Accordingly we must allow that ca 
price, custom, and common consent have each had a 
share in language, 125 and we must consequently give up 
seeking in words a knowledge of things. 120 As the first 
naming presupposes a knowledge of the things named, 127 
we must, like the first word-makers, turn our attention, 
not to names, but rather to the things themselves, 128 
and acknowledge the dialectian to be the superior critic, 
who has to overlook the work of the language-maker, 

iii> 422 C-424 A ; 430 A, E. mologies which are accumulated 

Motion, e.g. by II; smooth- and pushed to the absurdest 

ness Ly L ; size by A, &c. pp. 424 lengths in 391 D-421 E, and 426 C. 
A-427 D. 124 43 6 E _ 437 D> 

- 1 428 D-433 B ; 436 B-D. 434 E-435 C. 

- 434 C sq. i*5 435 D-436 B ; 438 C sq. 

3 We get a parody of the 127 437 E sqq. 
Heraclitic style in the purposely 128 439 A sq. ; 440 C sq. 
exaggerated and extravagant ety- 


and decide on the correctness or incorrectness of the 
names bestowed. 129 Dialectic alone is that which go 
verns and perfects all other arts : and philological en 
quiries only afford another confirmation of this truth. 130 
We have now considered separately the two con 
ditions of philosophic activity, philosophic impulse 
and philosophic method. It remains to show how, in 
the union of these, Philosophy as a whole developes 
itself in man. Plato, after some imperfect and partial 
hints in the Symposium, 131 gives a full representation 
of this process in the Kepublic. The groundwork of 
all culture and education is here said to be Music (in 
the larger sense given to the word by the Greeks) and 
Gymnastic : a harmonious blending of the two will 
temper the soul aright, and free it alike from effemi 
nacy and rudeness. 132 The chief thing, however, and 
the only direct preparation for Philosophy is Music. 
The ultimate aim of all musical education is that chil 
dren growing up in a healthy moral atmosphere should 
get a taste for all that is good and noble, and accustom 

129 38Q A-390 E. cit. p. 8 sq. : so Classen, loc. cit. p. 

100 Deuschle, loc. cit. pp. 8-20, 45 sq.) : the concept of tiruvv^ia. 

points out all that is strictly gram- (Farm. 131 A; Phsedo, 103 B, et 

matical in Plato, besides these phi- ssepius) ; the division of the letters 

lological discussions: some points into Vowels, Semivowels, and Mutes 

are borrowed from his predecessors, (Phileb. 18 B sq. ; Oat. 424 C ; cf. 

others are Plato s own. Among Theffit. 203 B) ; Number (Soph, 

them are the distinction of 8vo/j,a. 237 E) ; Tenses of the Verb (Parm. 

au<l p^a (Soph. 259 E; 261 E sqq. : 151 E-155 D ; 141 D, alibi) ; Ac- 

y supr. note 102; Theset. 206 D ; tive and Passive (Soph. 219 B ; 

Crat. 399 B ; 425 A ; 431 B, and Phil. 26 E). 

passim: cf. Eudemus ap. Simpl. 1M ; V. supra, 193 sq. 

Fir 8,- 21 b. Deuschle points out 32 Kep. ii. 376 E sqq., and spe- 

that the py/Ao. is not merely the cially iii. 410 B sqq. ; cf. Tim. 87 

verb in the sense of Time, but every C sqq. 
denotation of the predicate ; loc. 


themselves to practise it. 133 Musical education must 
result in love of beauty, which is in its nature pure and 
undisturbed by sensuous admixture. 134 (Here, also, Eros 
is the beginning of philosophy.) This education, how 
ever, is as yet without intelligence (Aoyee), a thing of 
mere habit ; 135 its fruit is at first ordinary virtue, guided 
by Right Opinion ; not philosophic virtue, ruled by scien 
tific Knowledge. 136 To attain this, scientific education 
must be added to musical. But the highest object of 
science is the Idea of the Good ; and the inclination of 
the spirit to this Idea is its highest problem. The turn 
ing towards true existence is in the beginning as painful 
to the spiritual eye as the vision of full sunlight to one 
who has lived all his life in a dark cavern. On the other 
hand, he who is accustomed to the contemplation of 
Being will at first only grope about uncertainly in the 
twilight of the world of phenomena, and so for a 
while appear to those who inhabit it as an ignorant 
and incapable person. The inference is, not that 
this turning to perfect truth should be unattempted, 
but only that it should be accomplished by natural 
gradations. 1 17 These stages or steps are formed by all 
the sciences, which, pointing out the inherence of 

:!:! IV ioffirep iv vyieiVip T<$7ry oi- TOU Ka\ov 
KovvTsciv{oia.Tr6TravTbsu<t>\u>vTa.i, 133 Of. note 133; Rep. iii. 402 

birbOev &i> cu roTs dirb r&v KO.\UV A; vii. 522 A (musical education is 

t-pyuv T) Trpos &\l/Lv T) Trpbs a.KOr]v TI ZOeai iraidevovcra . . . OVK ^TROTT^U?;* 

p aupa fapovcra dw& Trapadidovcra . . . /J.d6rjfjia ovdtv TJV 

e/c TraiSluv \avddvr] ets 6/xoi6r7?rd re 1:w Of. Sjmp. 202 A, and supra, 
/cat <pi\lav Kal ^v/JL(f>d}viav rip /ca\cp p. 175 sq. 

&yov<ra. l\ep. iii. 401 C. 1:!7 Kep. vi. 504 E sqq. ; vii. 514 

134 Rep. 402 I) sqq.; 403 C: Set A-519 B; cf. Thet. 173 C sq. ; 
TTOV reXtVTf* T ^ V-ovaiKa. eis TO, 175 B sq. 


thought even in the sensuous form, at the same time 
induce consciousness of the inadequacy and contradic- 
toriness of the sensuous Perception. The mathematical 
sciences, e.g. (including Mechanics, Astronomy, and 
Acoustics), are a middle term between the ordinary 
Perception or Opinion attaching to Sense, and pure 
sciences, just as their object, according to Plato, stands 
midway between the Idea and the Phenomenon. They 
are distinguished from Opinion, as being occupied with 
the Essence of things, with the common and invariable 
basis which underlies the plurality of different and con 
tradictory perceptions. And they are distinguished from 
science in the narrower acceptation, as making known 
the Idea, not purely in itself, but in the objects of 
Sense ; they are therefore still fettered to certain dog 
matic premises, instead of dialectically accounting 
for these, and thus cancelling them in the first prin 
ciple of all, itself without presupposition. 138 If, how 
ever, the mathematical sciences are to be of any real 
use, they must be treated in some other than the usual 
manner. Instead of being pursued only for prac 
tical ends, and in their application to the corporeal, 
the transition from Sense to Thought must be upheld 
as their proper aim ; the pure contemplation of num 
ber, magnitude, and the like, must be made their 
main object ; in a word, they must be used philoso 
phically and not empirically. 130 In that case they 

133 Rep. vi. 510 B sq. ; vii. 523 subt. note 158), 62 A ; cf. Tim. 91 

A-533 E ; and Symp. 210 sq. ; D; Phoxlo, 100 B sqq. On Plato 

211 C. as a mathematician, v. my PI. St. 

13 Rep. vii. 525 B sqq. ; 527 A ; 357. 
529, 531 B ; Pbileb. 56 D sq. (v. 


necessarily lead to Dialectic, which, as the highest and 
best of sciences, forms the coping stone of all the rest ; 
which alone comprehends all other sciences, and teaches 
their right application. 140 

In the whole of this exposition, the unityand internal 
relation of the theoretical and practical, the two consti 
tuent parts which together form the essence of Philo 
sophy, are set forth with more than usual decision. 
Elsewhere Philosophy is viewed, now as Eros, now as 
Dialectic : here it is most positively affirmed, that while 
mere love of beauty is inadequate without scientific 
culture, scientific culture is impossible without love of 
beauty : they are mutually related as different stages 
of one process. Philosophic love consummates itselij/ 
in scientific contemplation. 141 Science, on the other) [ 
hand, is not a mere concern of the intellect, but is 
also practical in its nature, occupied not with the ex 
ternal accumulation of knowledge, but with the turn 
ing of the spiritual eye, and the whole man, to the 
Ideal. 142 As they are one in principle, 143 they ulti- 

V. notes 72 and 150. 8\<p T <r apart ffrpetfxiv irpbs TO 

11 V. supra, p. 69 sq. and Symp. <f>avbv CK TOV cr/corwSouy, ourw $vv 

209 E sq. ; where the contemplation 0X77 rrj ^vxi) e/c TOV yiyvo^vov irepi- 

of the pure Idea is discussed as the vrpewTtov etj/cu, ecus av els rb cv nal 

completion of the Art of Love. rod OVTOS TO <pav6raTov Swarf 

- Eep. vii. 518 B : (Set 8ij ^fis y^rai dmax^Oat ufi^ TOVTO 

tofUffai) rfv Traiddav oi>x o iav Tives 5 elvai < TayaOov. The pro- 

irayyf\\6fj,ei>oi (fraffiv dvai. TOLO.VT-TJV blem is not e/i7roi^crat atrrcp TO 6p$v, 

d\\ ws o"^ ^" a^d OVK 

0s cm- 5e Tcrpa^vif oi)5e ftXcirovTi. ol 

dov ri/0Xotj 60^aX/xots 6\f/iv I5, TOVTO dia/Ji.r]xavrjaa<Tda.i. 533 

... 6 Scyc vvv \6yos. . . 0-77- ( 1 : ?; 8ia\cKTirf fi^OoSos /J.6vtj TOL^T-TI 

p.a.lvei } Ta&njr rfv^cvovaav e/cdcrToi/ iropcveTai rds virodtveis dvatpovaa> ti> Ty ifrvxjj Ka l Tb 6pyavov, eVai5rrji/ rfv dpxyv iva pcpaua<rrrrai, 

(? bra^rtt, olov d KCU T$ 8vTi ei> poppdpy 

J MO. M SvvaTbv TJV fiXXwj rj vv TLVI TO T^J $vxf)* */*/* 


mately coincide in their working and manifestation. 
In the Symposium, 144 the pain of the philosophic new 
birth is represented as an effect of philosophic love ; 
here it appears as a consequence of the dialectical as 
cent to the Idea. In the Phaedrus, philosophic love 
is described as a juavm ; in this place the same is vir 
tually said of close attention to Dialectic; Dialectic 
at first causes unfitness for the affairs of practical 
life : and it is the very essence of /uavt a, that to 
the eye dazzled with the vision of the Ideal finite 
associations and relations should disappear. 145 Prac 
tice and theory are thus absolutely conjoined. He 
alone 146 is capable of philosophic cognition who has 
early learned the renunciation of things sensuous ; con 
versely in the Republic (x. 611 D), Philosophy appears 
as the raising of the whole man out of the ocean of 
sense, as the scraping off of the shells and weeds that 
have overgrown the soul; and in the Phasdo (6i 
sq.), as the complete liberation from the dominion of 
the body the death of the inner man : thought being 
set forth as the means of this liberation, since by it we 
the above sensible impressions. In Philosophy, then, 
there is no longer any opposition of theory and prac 
tice, and the different kinds of theoretic activity 
unite into a whole. All the various forms of knowledge 
Perception, Opinion, intelligent Reflection are but 

-r}pt}j.a <!\/cei KCU dvdyei. &vw, anthropology) is essentially nothing 

ou Kal crvn-rrepiayuyols XP W ~ but reminiscence of the Idea ; and 

ah 8irj\6of.Lv r^ats. Of. Eros (cf. supra) is the same. 

ibid 514 A sq. ; 517 B; Tkeset. 44 215 E sqq. ; v. Part i. 153. 

175 B sq. ; Soph. 254 A. 45 Cf. supra, p. 191. 

143 Science, according to Plato 14G Cf. Rep. vii. 519 A sq. 

(as will be shown later on in the 



stages of philosophic or reasoned Knowledge. 147 They 
stand to this last, therefore, in a double relation. On 
the one hand, they must be transcended if true Know 
ledge is to be attained. He who would behold the 
absolutely real must free himself from the body; he 
must renounce the senses, which draw us away from 

14r Aristotle, I)e An. i. 2, 404 b. 
22, thus gives Plato s enumeration 
of the stages of theoretic conscious 
ness : (nXdrwi/) vovv fj.ev TO v, in- 

ev TOV 8 TOV fTmrfdov 
(triad) 86av } aiydrjaiv 5 TOV TOV 
ffTepfov (four). For further de 
tails on the passage, v. chap. 7, 
note 103, and my Plat, St. 227 
sq. So in the dialogues, Percep- 

I tion and Opinion, or Envisagement, 
are assigned to the unscientific 

$ consciousness, directed towards the 
phenomenal world (v. supra, p. 70 
sq.) ; and the eTriarij/j-ai are noticed 
(Symp. 210 C; Phil. 06 B ; cf. 
Rep. ix. 585 C) as the next pre 
liminary stage of pure thought, 
or Dialectic: the highest stage is 
called j/oDs (Tim. 51 D), and vovs 
Kai <f>p6i>r)(ris (Phil. loc. cit.). In 
Symp. 210 ( , 211 C, it appears as 
firi(TTrifj.r} or /j.ddtj/ji,a ; but Plato 
draws a clear distinction between 
the one iri(TTr)/u,T}, directed towards 
tli2 pure Idea, and the other e?rt- 
aTrj/jiai, which are merely prepa 
ratory to it. The most exact 
correspondence with Aristotle s ex 
position is found in the Timae- 
us, ;17 I : S6cu and TriVreis are 
there assigned to the Sensuous and 
Mutable (TTt orts is used alone, 29 
C), while vovs and eTTtcrr^/ij; (dX^- 
0eia, 29 C) belong to the Intelli 
gible and Immutable. Rep. vi. 
509 1) sq. ; vi>. 533 E sq. is only a 
partial deviation from this : tin- 

(TTr)[j.r] there stands first (vovs or 
vorjcns are equivalents), Sidvoia 
second, 7rt<ms third, elKavla fourth. 
The first two, dealing with the In 
visible, are combined under the 
name of vbycris : the two others, 
dealing with the Visible, under the 
name of 56a. Plato himself tells 
us that eTTicrr^yLtT/ here is the same 
as vous elsewhere (as in Symp. loc. 
cit. and Phaedo, 247 C). Aidvoia. 
corresponds to the Aristotelian tiri- 
crT^fj,Tf), as is clearly shown by 
Kep. 533 U ; 510 B sqq. ; 511 D sq. 
There is a confusion here between 
the division elsewhere given of 
Knowledge based on Opinion and 
another division, not so important 
from Plato s point of view vide 
note 14. By Sidvoia or eTrto-TT?^?; 
Plato means (asT Brandis observes) 
exclusively mathematical science. 
This is expressly stated, Kep. vi. 
510 B sq. ; 511 C sq., and is a 
natural consequence of his doc 
trines: mathematical laws are to 
him (vide subter) the sole me 
diating elements between Idea and 
Phenomenon ; and therefore only a 
knowledge of these laws can me 
diate between Opinion or Envisage- . 
merit and the science of the Idea. ; 
In enumerations like the above 
Plato allows himself considerable 
laxity, as may be seen from the 
Philebus, GO B, besides the places 
already quoted. The terminology 
i.s a matter of indifference. Eep. 
vii. 533 D. 


/pure contemplation, and intervene darkling between the 
spirit and truth; 148 he must turn his eyes away from 
shadows and direct them to true Being, 149 must rise 
from the irrational Eiivisagement to lieason : 150 he must 
remember that eyes and ears were given us, not that 
we might revel in sensuous sights and sounds, but to 
lead us, through the perception of the heavenly mo 
tions and of audible harmony, to order and harmony 
in the soul s movements. 151 We must not stop short at 
conditioned, mathematical thought, which makes use of 
certain presuppositions, but does not analyse them. 152 
But, on the other hand, the sensuous Phenomenon is at 
any rate a copy of the Idea, and thus serves to awaken 
in us the recollection of the Idea : 153 Right Opinion is 
only distinguished from Knowledge by the want of dia 
lectic establishment. 154 The mathematical sciences, 
too, are, in Plato s view, the most direct and indispen 
sable preliminaries of Dialectic ; for they represent in 
sensible form the concepts which the philosopher con 
templated in their purity. 155 It is therefore one and 
the same matter with which the different intellec 
tual activities have to do, only that this matter is 
not apprehended by all as equally perfect and unal 
loyed. That which is true in the sensuous Perception,/ 
in Opinion and in reflective Thought, is included in 

148 Plisedo, 65 A-G7 B ; 67 D ; A ; Phredo, 75 A sq. 

Hep. vii. 532 A. 154 V. supra, 174. On account of 

149 Kep. vii. 514 sq. this connection, Kight Opinion is 

150 Tim. 28 A ; 51 D sq. ; cf. actually set by the side of Know- 
supra, 174. ledge and commended ; e.g. Theat. 

151 Tim. 47 A sq. 202 D ; Phileb. 66 13 ; Eep. ix. 

152 Hep. vi. 510 B sq. ; vii. 533 585 C ; Laws, x. 81)6. 
C ; cf. note 72, p. 215 sq. 155 Cf. p. 215 sq. 

15:5 Phazdr. 250 D sq. ; Symp. 210 


22 1 

Philosophy as pure thought : the Idea is there grasped 
whole and entire, its confused and partial appropriation 
having already given to the lower forms of knowledge 
an import, and a relative share in truth. 156 Philosophy 
is consequently not one science among others, but 
Science absolutely, the only adequate manner of know- 
Ing ; and all the particular sciences 157 must fall under 
this, so soon as they are rightly treated. They thus 
belong to the propaedeutic of Philosophy, 158 and find in 
Dialectic their end ; and they are worthless in propor 
tion and as long as they are withheld from the use of 
the dialectician. 159 Nay, even the handicraft arts con- 

156 As will bo proved in the fol 
lowing secJions. 

157 Confine.!, however, in Plato, 
as we have seen, to the mathema 
tical branches. 

158 Rsp. vii. 525 B: the guar 
dians are to be admonished, ewl Xo- 
yiffTiKr]! levai Kal dvdaTTeadai avrrjs 
fj.rj iStam/fcDj, dXV ws av tiri deav TTJS 
TUV dpidfj-uv 0u<reuy dtfriKUvrai ry 
vor)<?i avT-fj they are (525 I)) no 
longer opara, ?} dTrrd crw/xar 
dpiOfiovs TrpoTfiveadai, but rb 

Kacnov irdv iravrl Kal 

/novddos e/cacmys T&V fjLvpi 

rts dr/ffet and the mathematical 
sciences thus treated are ai Trepl 

TT]V T&V OtVTUS (f)i\0(rO(pOUl>T(>}V 6pfJ.^V. 

Ibid. 57 C. For further details, v. 

159 Rep. vii. 534 E: ap otv SoKfi 
crol wotrep BpiyKos (coping stone) 
TO?S /J,a0rju,aatv i] 8ia\KTiKTj i}fuv 
lirdvu KflvOat., K.T.\. Ibid. 531 C: 
ol/ 8t 7 ty 8 y<j}, Kal i] TOVTWV 

eavru) ovdfr. Astronomy rightlv 
studied is to use the course of the 
stars (529 C sq.) only as an 
example rCov dXrjdivuv, d? rb dv 
Kal i] o&ffa (3pa5uTr]s ev rtfi 
Kal TrdffL rots 

cis re ?r/)6s fiXX^Xc <t>pe- 
rat Kal TO. fvdvra (pepfi. Phileb. 50 
D : oi fjLtv yap TTOV [JLOvaSas dvivovs 
KaTapiO/m.oui Tai riw irepl dpiO/j.6v t 
olov (TTpaT6TT8a 8vo Kal /SoOs 8vo 
Kal 5vo rd afj.LKp6rara T) Kal TO. irdv- 
iara oi 8 OVK av TTOTC 
<rvi>aKO\ovOr]<Teiai>, et a; 


KTjrai Kal %vyy&eiav, Kal v\\o- 
yiaOfj raCra, 17 ianv dXXTjXois oiKfta, 
(ptpeiv Ti avrwv els d /3ofX6/xe^a TTJV 
Trpayfiareiav Kal OVK dfdvtjTa irovel- 
<r8ai, d 8t ^ a.vbvrjTa. Cf. note 75. 
Ribbing s idea that Plato here 
identities mathematics with Dia 
lectic, is, I think, sufficiently dis 
proved by foregoing remarks. Ma 
thematics with him are only a 
preliminary to Dialectic, not Dia 
lectic itself: they have to do with 
similar subjects number, magni 
tude, motion, &c. but are differen 
tiated by the method of procedure. 


temptuously as the Kepublic repudiates them, 160 and 
however little worth Plato in reality allowed to them 
even they, by virtue of their relative share in truth else 
where conceded, belong likewise to the first stages of 
Philosophy. 161 

Philosophy is therefore, in a word, the focus which 

unites all the scattered rays of truth in human opinion 

and action; 162 it is the absolute consummation of the 

spiritual life generally, the royal art sought in the 

Euthydemus 163 by Socrates, in which making or pro- 

I ducing, and knowledge of the use of that which is 

\ made, coincide. 

Plato is, however, quite aware that Philosophy is 
never fully and perfectly represented in actuality. As 
early as the PliEedrus we find him desiring that no man 
shall be called wise, but only at most a lover of wisdom, 
for God alone is wise. 164 So in the Parmenides (131 C) 
he declares that God alone has perfect knowledge : and 
on that ground he claims for men, in a celebrated 
passage of the Theeetetus (176 B), not divinity, but 
only the greatest possible .likeness to God. Still less 
does it appear to him conceivable that the soul in this 
earthly life, among the incessantly disturbing influ 
ences of the body, should attain the pure intuition of 
truth : 165 even the endeavour for wisdom or the philo 
sophic impulse, he derives not merely from the inclina- 

1CO Vii 522 B : vi. 495 D. 

m Symp. 209 A ; Phik-b. 55 C 3 289 B ; 291 B. 

sqq.: of, Ritter, Gcsch. d. Phil. ii. 1W 278 D: cf. Symp. 203 

907 0eu)j> <w5ets 0cXo(T00e? ov8 

2 Cf. Rep. v. 473 B : rbv 0tX6- crowds yevtedai tari yap. 

o-o^as (priffofifv eiridv^TTiv 55 Phsetlo, 6G B sqq. 
ov XT}? l*-tv rrjs 5 01), dXXa 


tion of man towards wisdom, but also from the feeling 
of ignorance : 1C6 and he confesses that the highest 
object of knowledge, the Good or God, is only to be 
arrived at with difficulty, and only to be beheld at spe 
cially favourable moments. 167 Yet it by no means fol 
lows from this that what he himself calls Philosophy is 
to him but an impracticable ideal that he gives to 
the Divine science alone that high significance and un 
bounded range, and regards human science, 011 the con 
trary, as a manner of mental life, side by side with 
other activities equally good and useful. It is assur 
edly human science developing itself, by a long series 
of means, out of the philosophic impulse, to which in 
the Symposium and Republic he assigns so lofty a 
place ; for the engendering of which he gives detailed 
directions ; on which he grounds the whole organism of 
his state ; without which, as a ruling power, he sees no 
period to human misery. The philosophic sobriety and 
moderation of our own times, thankful for any crumbs 
that may be left for thought was unknown to Plato. 
To him Philosophy is the totality of all mental activi 
ties in their completed development, the only adequate 
realization of reasonable human nature, the queen 
whom all other realms must serve, and of whom alono 
they hold in fief their allotted share of truth. Whether 
or not this view is well founded, whether Plato con 
ceives the idea of Philosophy with sufficient clearness, 
whether he does not over-estimate the compass of 
human intellectual powers, or rightly determines Ilio 

166 V. supra, pp. 192, 193. 

167 Kep. vi. 500 E; vii. 517 B; Tim. 28 C ; Plueclr. 248 A. 


relation of spiritual activities and the limits of tlie dif 
ferent spheres of life this is not the place to enquire. 

For the further development of the Platonic system, 
we distinguish, in accordance with the foregoing ob 
servations Dialectic, or the doctrine of the Idea 
Physics, or the doctrine of the Phenomenon of the Idea 
in nature Ethics, or the doctrine of its representation 
in human action. The question as to the relation of 
the Platonic Philosophy to Religion and Art will after 
wards be supplementary considered. 




ACCORDING to Plato, the specific and primary subject- 
matter of Philosophy consists, as already shown, in 
Ideas ; for they alone contain true Being, the Essence of 
things. The enquiry into Ideas, which is Dialectic in 
the narrower sense, must therefore come first in the 
construction of his system : on that foundation only 
can a philosophic view of nature and of human life bo 
built up. This enquiry is threefold : (1) Concerning 
the derivation of Ideas; (2) their Universal Concept j 
and (3) their expansion into an organised Plurality, a 
World of Ideas. - 7/ 

I. The Establishment of the Doctrine of Ideas. 
The theory of Ideas is primarily connected with the 
Socratic-Platouic theory of the nature of Knowledge. 
Concepts alone guarantor true Knowledge. But in the 
same proportion that truth belongs to our opinions 
(for Plato, like other philosophers, starts with this 
assumption 1 ), reality must belong to their object, and 

jpParmenides had already said impossible (ib. 005, 3, 4). Simi- 

KNon-being cannot be thought larly the so-called Hippocr. De 

essed ; that only Being could Arto, c. ii. b. i. 7 Kiihn : ra ^i 

bught (see vol. i. 470, 1). tbvra del opdrai re Ka.1 yivuo- 

pnct was frequently taken rb. 8e /JLTJ e6vra otire cpdrai 
ge of by the Sophists, in - 

prove that false opinion is 


vice versti. That which may be known is, that which \ 
cannot be known is not. In the same measure that a 
thing exists, it is also knowable. Absolute Being is j 
therefore absolutely knowable; absolute Non-being, I 
absolutely unknowable ; 2 that which, uniting in itself 
Being and Non-being, lies in the midst between the ab 
solutely real and the absolutely unreal, must have a 
kind of knowledge corresponding to it, intermediate 
between Knowledge and Ignorance ; it is not the pro- , 
vince of Knowledge but of Opinion. 3 As certainly, 
therefore, as Knowledge is something other than Opi 
nion, 4 so must also the object of Knowledge be other / 
than that of Opinion : the former is an unconditioned \ 
reality; the latter a something to which Being and 
Non-being equally belong. If Opinion refers to the 
Material, our concepts can only refer to that which j 
is Immaterial ; and to this alone can a full and true , 
existence be attributed. 5 Plato thus expressly de- 

2 We shall find this later on in of Non-being as such. He refers 
the case of matter. error to the notion of relative 

3 Rep. v. 476 E sq. ; vi. 511 E. Non-being or Other-being to the 
Cf. supra, p. 175 sq. Plato clearly confusion and incorrect association 
expresses his agreement /with the of notions. Theset. 189 B sq. ; 
fundamental position that it is Soph. 261 A sq. : further details 
impossible to conceive Non-being subter. 

(loc. cit. 478 B: ap oSv rb /J.T] 6v 4 Cf. note 147, and p. 170 sqq. 
5odfri; ?} dtivvcnov Kai 5od<7ai rb 5 Rep. v. 477 B: ap ovv \^o^v 
IJ.T] 6v ; <W6 8t ovx b 5odfav e?rt TL 56cu> efrcu; II ws yap ov ; irbrepov 
TL 0^pei rr]v 56av, ?} 016^ re ai5 AXXrjv dv^afMif en-KTTT^s ?) ri]v av- 
do^eiv fj.ef, dotdfeiv 51 /iT/SeV ; &c. TT)^; "AXX^. Eir dXXy &pa Tera/c- 
Similarly Theret. 188 D sqq. (cf. rat 86a Kai eV fiXXy 
Farm. 132 B, 142 A, 164 A), and Kara rrjv &\\T]i> dvva/uu 
his attack on the sophistical con- avrrjs. OL> TOJ. OVKOVV 
elusion just mentioned is not di- eiri rep &VTI irtyvice yv&vat. ws tcrri. 
rected against the major proposi- TO 6V; opinion, on the other hand 
tion : he allows that there can (478 D), belongs to something 
be no notion of Non-being, but which being at the same time ex- 
denies that error is the notion istent and non-existent, is between 

yi-: OF //>/<;.! x. /y.s- I^TMUJ^IIM^XT. _>_> 7 

signates the distinction between Knowledge and Kight 
^Opinion, as the point on which our decision concern 
ing flic reality of Ideas depends. If they are iden 
tical, we can only assume the existence of the Cor 
poreal ; but if they are different, we must ascribe to 
Ideas, which are underived, unchangeable and im 
perishable, apprehended not by the senses but by 
reason alone, an absolute and independent existence. 
The reality of Ideas seems to him the direct and in 
evitable consequence of the Socratic philosophy of 
Concepts. Knowledge can only be employed on true 
existence, on the colourless, shapeless, immaterial 
Essence which the spirit alone beholds. 7 If there is any 
Knowledge at all, there must also be a fixed and invari 
able object of Knowledge, an object that exists not only 
For us and by reason of us, but in and for itself. Only 
the Invariable can be known. We can attribute no qua 
lity to that which is conceived as constantly changing.* 

the ciXtKpivus 6v and the vdvrus vootpwa. fj.bvov oi 5 , ws THTI 0at- 

M & verac, 56a d\rj6r]s vov Sta^epei TO 

lira. 51 B: the question is: M*&, irdvtf oirda a5 did TOU craym- 

&p ftm TI Trvp avTb (f> eavTov Kal Tos alfft)ai>6/j.fda, dtriov /3e/3at6rara. 

iravra TTfpl &v \^ynfj.ev oi/rws ai ra 5io S^ Xe/cre o fVetVw (here follows 

Ko.0 avra ovra e/cacrra, r) TO.VTO. what was quoted, p. 4J5). TOI JTUV 

airep p\Trofj.ev, &c. fj.6va fffrl rot- 5t O&TUS ^6vruv 6/m.o\oyr)T(oi> i> 

ai njv tx ovr a dX^^ewtJ , &\\a te ^i> elvat TO Kara ravra etSos fyw, 

OVK ten irapa.TO.vTa oi)3a^?} oi Sa^wr, aycvvrfTov Kal avu\e6pov, ovre eil 

dXXa fidTijv eKdaTOTe elvai ri <}>a.p.iv eavro etV5e%6,ue^oi &\\o (L\\oOei> 

eI5oj cicdffTov voTjrb - , TO 8t ovtev ap oure avrb e/y &\\o TTOL ibv, abpaTov 

ty ir\T)v \6yos : this question is not 5^ Kal &\\ui> dvaiaerjrov, TOVTO 5 dn 

to be discussed more fully in this vbyffis eiXyxev eTnvKoweiv T 6 5 

plac-^ : ft ot rts opos bpiadeis [ityas b^vv^ov 6/j.oi.6v re e/caVy detrepov, 

dia ppaxtutv tpavd-r], JOUTO /idXtor o.l<r6^Tbv, yei>i>-r)T6i>, Tf^oprjjj.^oi del 

fyituipiATaTov yevoiT av. tDoe otv yt.yvbiJ.fvbv re eV nvi Tbiry Kal TrdXiv 

TT)v 7 iptjv CU /TOJ Ti0CfJUU \f/rj(poi>- CKeWtv a.iro\\vfjievov, 5brj ^er ai- 

d /j.ti> vovs Kal 56^0 dX-rje-ris tarov a6ri<rews irepiXyTTTbv. 

. iravTdiraviv elvai Ka.6 ai>Ta 7 I liaulr. _ 47 ( 

dvaiaO-,]Ta i0 iiftdv (iSrj, s ( rat. ;isi; |) ; t:i! ( sq. : Soph. 

Q 2 


Therefore to deny the reality of Ideas is altogether to 
annihilate the possibility of scientific enquiry. 9 What 
is here derived from the idea of Knowledge, Plato also 
deduces from the contemplation of Being ; and, as the 
doctrine of Ideas is, on the one side, a result of the 
Socratic philosophy, on the other, it follows from the 
teaching of Heraclitus and the Eleatics. As Ideas are 
to Opinion in the region of Knowledge, so is true Exist 
ence to Phenomena, the Immaterial to the Material 
in the region of Being. The Sensible, then, is a some 
thing Becoming, but the end of Becoming is Being. 10 
The Sensible is many and divided; but these many 
things become what they are, only by reason of that 
which is common to them all ; and this common ele 
ment must be distinct from the particulars, nor can any 
notion of it be abstracted from individuals, for these 
never show us that common quality itself, but only an 
imperfect copy. 11 No individual presents its essence 
purely, but each possesses its own qualities in combina 
tion with their opposites. The manifold just is also 
unjust, the manifold beautiful, ugly ; and so on. This 
totality is therefore to be regarded as a middle-term 
between Being and Non-being: pure and full reality 

249 B sq Phileb. 58 A. Of. also cpyava Kai iraffav 

the remarks, p. 174, on the mill a- iraem/, iKdorip tt yfafftr &\\r,v 

bility of Bight Opinion and the im- fiAX7?s octets rirds 

niutalility D of Knowledge, and vol. >fyrfa<, Etyiwa 

i CC2 on the consequences of the ciVt as eW/ca ylyr(ff8a.t 

doctrine of the flux of all things The doctrine of Flux and the p;u- 

vhich are drawn out in the Cra- tial non-existence of the Eensil le 

I j ng willlc discussed at greater length in 

o Pannen. 135 B sq. the beginning of the next chapter. 

10 Phil. 54 B: 0i#*l STJ yivtffcvi Parm. 132 A; 1 hado, <4 A 

jL^v tvcKa jdrfinKd re Kal iravra sqq. 


can only be conceded to the one absolute self-identical 
beauty or justice, exalted above all opposition and re 
striction. 12 We must distinguish between that which 
ever is and never becomes (Tim. 27 D) and that which 
is ever in process of Becoming and never arrives 
at Being. The one, remaining always self-identical, 
can be apprehended by rational Thought ; the other, 
arising and passing away, without ever really being, can 
only be the subject of Opinion and Perception without 
Reason : the former is the prototype, the latter the copy. 
The contemplation of Nature leads us to these proto 
types; for the world is perfect and beautiful, simply 
because it is fashioned after an eternal and unchange 
able pattern. 13 Things can only be understood by us in 
relation to their ultimate aim ; their true causes are 
those by means of which they become good and fair ; 
and this they are, because they participate in beauty, 
and goodness itself, in absolute Existence. 14 Our moral 
life, too, presupposes moral prototypes, the perception 
of which must guide us, so that our actions may tend 
towards right ends. 15 There is, in short, nothing in the 

- Rep. v. 479 A sq. ; vii. 524 Tov,ToG8ia0tov adXtuTdrov: Parm. 
( : Phdo,loc. cit. 78 D sq.; 103 J5. 130 ]{ : phfedo, 05 L) ; Rep v 470 

! S m , -* A - 1 A : 3(H A > of tll ldea ot th SlKatoy, /caXdv, 
( h the passages of the Phdu dya06i>, &-;. ; and the highest of all 
and rimaena (viz. 40 C sq.; 08 K Ideas to Plato is, as we shall find 
and 100 B-E respectively) to be that of the (iood. Still (as Rib- 
noticed later on. bjng remarks, PI. Ideenl. i. 310 
1 baedo, 247 D : 250 P, sq., in sq.) we cannot conclude that the 
his sketch ot the world of Idea, practical Ideas alone or at any rate 
Plato expressly particularises the in preference to the others, formed 
O.VTT] GucaHMTforj, ffufyorfrij, eVt- the starting point of the doctrine 
WTJui), together with the Idea of of Ideas. In the Parmcnides (loo 
beauty ; Iheret. 170 E, he speaks cit.) and Phsedo (78 D ; 101 A 
of the ropoftefypara eV rci; &VTL sqq.), together with or even before 
eorwra, TOV ntv Odov ei 5ayuo^e(rra- the Idea of justice, those of simi- 



world which does not point us to the Idea; nothing 
which has not in the Idea the cause of its existence, 
and of such perfection as belongs to it. The dialectical 
exposition of this necessity of the theory of Ideas is 
attempted in the Sophist, and more fully in the Par- 
menides. The first proves, as against the doctrine of 
an original plurality of Being, from the concept of 
Being itself, that the All, in so far as Being belongs to 
it, is also One ; 16 as against Materialism, from the facts 

larity, equality, unity, plurality, 
duality, greatness, &c. , are men 
tioned, and from the passages 
quoted in the preceding note we 
see how great was the influence of 
Plato s teleology on the formation 
of the theory of Ideas. It was not 
merely on the basis of a definite 
kind df hypostasized concepts that 
this doctrine arose, hut from the 
universal conviction that in all ex 
istence and becoming the thought 
given by its concept was the only 
i rue reality. 

16 243 D, Plato asks those who 
suppose two original existences 
(the warm and the cold and the 
like) : TI wore &pa TOVT CTT d/j.cpo ii 

as Parmenides and the Atomists; 
cf. Pt.i. 47 ( J sq. ; 687 sqq. ) d^brepa 
6/xotwj etVcu Aeyere* ax e ^^ v ^ v y^P 
d/x0ore/)cjs (i.e. whether we call 
only the one or only the other an 
existing tiling) j>,dXX ou dvo eiY^f. 
A\r)dTJ \eyeis. AXX &pa rd o>0cj 
Bov\fff6e KaXew ov ; "Icrws. AXX , 
- rd 6^0 

elvat ; ri TO elvai TOVTO 
j.uiv ; irbTfpov rpirov 
irapd rd dvo f/cetVa, /ecu rpia rb irdv, 
d\\d p.T] 8vo CTL /ea0 t ^as TidufJ-ev : 
(That this is not so is not ex 
pressly proved, nor had Plato any 
need of proof, because the triplicity 
of existence directly contradicts its 
supposed duality, and the existent 
as such is only one, although it is 
a third together with the two ele 
ments.) ov yap TTOV rolv ye Svolv 
/caAoufTes ddrepov ov (calling only 
the one of them an existing thing, 

P>y this explanation the 
above view seems to me to be per 
fectly justified. It might indeed 
be objected (Bonitz, Plat. Stud, 
ii. 51) that the possibility men 
tioned by Plato in the above pas 
sage that existence itself is sepa 
rate from the two elements is 
overlooked. This supposition, it is 
true, is not expressly contradicted by 
Plato, apparently from the reasons 
indicated above ; but his design in 
mentioning it can only be to show 
the untenability of the assertion of 
an original duality of existence in 
any sense that could possibly he 
assigned to it. In the case before 
us, this is done by showing the 
contradiction such an assumption 
involves (viz. the necessity of three 
existents instead of the prcsup- 
pcsed two). The same argument 
would ap ply with equal force 


of moral and mental conditions, that there must be 
some other Being than that of Sense. 17 The Parmenides 
takes up the question more generally and from a logical 
point of view (Farm. 137), developing both hypo 
theses, { the One is and the One is not in their 
consequences. From the Being of the One, contradic 
tions arise conditionally ; from the Non- being of the 
One, absolutely. It is thus proved that without the One 
Being, neither the thought of the One, nor the Being 
of the Many, would be possible : however inadequate 
may be the Eleatic view of the One Being, and however 
necessary it may be to rise from this abstract Unity 
excluding Plurality, to the comprehensive Unity of 
the Idea. 18 The proper connection of the Platonic 
doctrine, however, is more clearly marked in other ex 

The theory of Ideas, then, is grounded on these two 
main points of view, that, to its author, neither true 
Knowledge nor true Being seems possible without the 
Reality of Ideas. These points of view overlap, and 
are mingled in Plato s expositions ; for the reason why 
Knowledge is impossible without Ideas is this : that] 

at;. mist the assumption of three, OVK aTro5cx6fj.i>oi ws eV ovcrias /J-epa, 

lour, or any additional quantity are treated with unqualified con- 

whatsoever, of original elements: tempt. 

and we h; ve really an indirect 1H This view of the Pannenides, 

assertion here of what has been which I first propounded in my 

directly stated in the two other Plat. Stud. 15U sqq. a: d defended 

cases, that the originally existent, in the first edition of the present 

({//a existent, can only be one. work, part i. p. JUO sqq., I cannot 

17 246 E sq.; cf. Theset. 155 E, substantiate with greater detail in 

whore those who would allow this place ; besides the disserta- 

nothing to be real, T) ov civ SVVUVTCLI tions mentioned above, cf. SiiMMiiihl 

airpit; TOLI> xepoiV Act/3e (r0cu, Trpci^ets Genet. Entw. i. 341 sqq. : Ribbing, 

5 /ecu ycvfoets KO.I TTO.V rb doparov loc. cit. 221 sqq. 


lensible existence wants permanence and self-consis- 
lenCYj without whicli Knowledge is unthinkable. And 
that the material phenomenon has no true Being is 
proved by the impossibility of knowing it ideally. 
The same conclusion is reached by the Platonic proofs 
of the theory as represented by Aristotle in his work on 
Ideas, 19 so far as we are acquainted with that work. 20 
The first of these, the Aoyot tic rwv tTntrrrjjuwv, coincides 
with the proof above developed that all Knowledge 
refers to the permanent, self-identical Ideas. The 
second, TO tv M TroAAwv, is based 011 the proposition 
that the Universal which is in all particulars of the 
same Genus, must itself be distinct from these. The 
third (ro voctv TI fyOaptvTuv), which is closely connected 
with the second, proves the independent existence of 
Ideas, by the argument that the universal concept re 
mains in the soul even if the phenomenon be destroyed. 
Two other proofs, adduced by Alexander. that things 
to which the same predicates belong, must be copied 
from the same archetype, and that things which are 
like one another can only be so by reason of participa 
tion in one Universal, concur with those already 
quoted from Farm. 132 and Phredo 74. The doctrine 
of Ideas therefore is ultimately based upon the con 
viction that Keality belongs not to the Phenomenon 
with its self-contradictory divisions r.nd variability, 
but to the Essence of things in its unity and iden 
tity ; not to the sensibly perceived but to the logically 

is Cf. ray Plat, Stud. p. 232 sq., 20 From Arist. Metnpli. i. 9, 
and Schwegler and I3onitz ad loc. 990 b. 8 sqq. 22, and Alex, ad 
Arist. locum. 


The theory being thus derived, we can also see how 
the hypothesis of Ideas connects itself with Plato s his 
torical position. Besides his relation to Socrates, Aris 
totle refers us to the influence of the Heraclitean 
philosophy, and also to that of the Pythagoreans and 
Eleatics. ( These systems/ he says, 21 were followed 
by the enquiries of Plato, which indeed on most points 
wore allied with the Pythagoreans, but in some par 
ticulars diverged from the Italian philosophy. From 
his youth he agreed with Cratylus and the Heracli- 
teans, that all things sensible are in continual flux, 
and that no knowledge of them is possible; and he 
remained true to that doctrine. At the same time, 
however, he embraced the Socratic philosophy, which 
occupied itself with Ethical investigations to the exclu 
sion of natural science, yet in these sought out the 
universal and applied itself primarily to determination 
of concepts ; and so Plato came to the conclusion that 
this procedure must refer to something different from 
Sense, for sensible things cannot be universally defined, 
being always liable to change. These classes of ex 
istence, then, he called Ideas ; concerning sensible things, 
he maintained that they subsist side by side with Ideas, 
and are named after them, for the M anifold which 
bears like name with the Ideas is such by virtue of par 
ticipation in the Ideas. This last definition is only a dif 
ferent expression of the Pythagorean tenet, that things 
are the copies of numbers. Moreover, continues Aris 
totle at irliQ conclusion of the chapter, he assigns re 
spectively to his two elements, to the One and to 

- Mctdpli. i. 0, bcginn. C f. xiii. It ; 1080 a. 35 sqq. 


Matter, the causes of good and evil ; in which he was 
anticipated by some of the earlier philosophers, as 
Empedocles and Anaxagoras. This passage sums up 
nearly all the elements from which the Platonic theory 
of Ideas was historically developed ; the Eleatics and 
Megarians might, however, have been more expressly 
mentioned. The Socratic demand for conceptual know 
ledge unmistakably forms the starting point of the 
theory; but Plato, by the utilization of all that the 
earlier philosophy offered, and in the direction which it 
traced out for him, enlarged this ground ; his greatness, 
indeed, consists in his having been able to draw forth 
the result of the whole previous development, and 
shape from the given elements an entirely new crea 
tion. Socrates had declared that all true knowledge 
must rest upon right concepts : he had recognised in 
thTscooceptualknowledge" the rule oTall action ;Jbe ha<T 
shown that Nature herself finnld ^nly ho pyplainprl by 
the concept of an End. Plato follows him in these con 
victions, and combines with them what earlier philoso 
phers Parmenides and Heraclitus, Empedocles and 
Democritus had taught on the ifncertainty of the 
senses, and on the difference of rational Cognition 
from Opinion 22 together with Anaxagoras doctrines 
of the world-forming mind, and the intelligent dis 
position of all things. 23 With those older philo- 

See above, p. 170 sqq , \viih attached to this doctrine, and what 

which compare vol. i. p. 47G sq. ; conclusions he drew from it, and at 

583 sq. ; 651 ; 741 gq. the san:e time how he regretted 

- :i Plato himself, Phsedo, 97 B the absence of its further develop- 

sq. (vide vol. i. 811) ; Phileb. 28 C, ment in Anaxagonis. 
sqq., tells us what importance ho 


sophers, their view of knowledge was only a consequence 
of their metaphysics; Plato, on the contrary, reduces 
Socrates principles on scientific method to the meta 
physical ideas they presuppose. He asks, How is the 
Jleal to be conceived by us, if only reasoning thought 
assures a true cognition of the Real ? To this ques 
tion Parinenides had already replied ; The one eternal 
invariable Essence can alone be regarded as the Eeal. 
And a similar answer was given by Plato s fellow- 
disciple Euclides, who may possibly have anticipated 
Plato in the formation of his system. 24 Plato was 
drawn to such a view by several influences. In 
the first place, it seemed to him a direct result 
of the Socratic theory of conceptual knowledge that 
something real should correspond to our concepts, 
and that this should excel all else in reality as far 
as science excels all other ways of knowing in 
truth.- 5 Similarly it became clear that the object^/ 
of our thought must not be sought in the pheno 
menon. 26 This, however, ensued still more definitely/ 
from the Heraclitean doctrines of the flux of all things a 
for the permanent element, to which our ideas relate, 
could not lie in the sphere of unconditional change. 27 
The Eleatic arguments against Plurality and Mutation 
were at any rate so far acknowledged by Plato that he 
excluded from true Being that unregulated movement 
and unlimited Multiplicity not comprehended in the 
unity of the Idea, not co-articulated according to fixed 
differences of kind which the world of Sense appeared 

- 4 Vide Part i. p. 218 sq. - Ibid. p. 22r,. 

:< A ide supra, p. 225 sq. -~ Ibid. p. 228. 


to him to offer. 28 And Parmenides, having already) 
on these grounds, denied to Being all sensible pro^ 
perties, and the Pythagoreans having, in their mini- ; 
bers, declared that which is not palpable to the senses 
to be the Essence of things 29 Plato may have been 
all the more inclined to maintain the same of the Im 
material which forms the subject matter of our con 
cepts. Nor, lastly, must we estimate too lightly the 
influence of that aesthetic view of the world which was 
always uppermost in Plato s artistic spirit. As the 
Greek everywhere loves clear limitation, firmly out 
lined forms, definiteness, visibility, as in his mythology 
he places before us the whole contents of moral and 
natural life embodied in plastic shapes, so does Plato 
feel the necessity of translating the matter of his 
thought out of the abstract form of the concept 
into the concrete form of an ideal vision. It does not 
satisfy him that our reason should distinguish the quali 
fying realities embodied in things, that we should 
separate them from the connection in which we per 
ceive them ; they must also exist in themselves apart 
from this inter-connection ; they must condense into 
independent essences, concepts must become Ideas. The^ 
doctrine of Ideas thus appears as a truly Crreek creation, 

** Vide loc. cit. and note ( .2. roans, goes too far. Asclepius (ad 

Further details will be given in loc. JMctaph.) corrects Aristotle, 

the paragraph on Matter. but is also mistaken in his asser- 

- 9 We shall find an opportunity tion that he ought to have said in 

later on to return to the importance all points, for Plato was a tho- 

attached by Plato to the Pytl;a- rough Pythagorean. The same 

gorean doctrines of numbers. Aris- statement was frequently made in 

tutle s statement, Metaph. i. 6 the Nco-Pythogorean and Nco- 

beginn. that Plato had in most Platonic schools, 
points adhered to the Pythago- 



and, more particularly, as a fruit of that union be 
tween the Socratic and pre-Socratic philosophy, which 
was accomplished in Plato s comprehensive mind. The 
Ideas are the Socratic concepts, elevated from rules of 
knowledge into metaphysical principles, and applied to 
the speculations of natural philosophy concerning the 
essence and grounds of Existence. :r 

II. Tlw Concept of Ideas. If, then, we would be 
clear as to the general concept and nature of Ideas, 
it primarily follows from the preceding discussion 
that they are that which, as unconditioned Reality, 
is unaffected by the change and partial non-being of 
the phenomenon, and, as uniform and self-identical, is 
untouched by the multiplicity and contradictions of con 
crete existence. 31 Plato takes for this permanent and 

?0 Further particulars on the 
relation of the doctrine of Ideas to 
earlier philosophic theories will be 
given presently. Schleiermacher, 
Gescli. d. Phil. 104, combats the 
above-mentioned Aristotelian ex 
planation, and wishes to refer the 
Ideas to a combination between 
Heraclitus and Anaxagoras to a 
remodelling of the doctrine of 
homopomeries. The theory is en 
tirely without historical justifica 
tion. Ilerbart, more correctly ^Sn 
his treatise, which will still repay 
perusal, ])y Plat. Svstematis fun- 
damento, Wcrke, xii. Go sq.), sees 
in the doctrine of Ideas a combina 
tion of Eleatic and Jleraclitean 
elements, but leaves entirely out 
of account _ the main point, viz. 
the Socratic conceptual philoso 
phy. The formula in which he 
sums up the gist of his view: 
JI> radii i yei>f(ri.i> overly. 

Parmenidis; halelis ideas Plutonis 
(for which in spite of Ueberwcg, 
I "liters, plat. Schr. 40 we could 
just as well say conversely : die id? 
ovffiav Parmein dis, &c.), is better 
adapted to the Atomistic doctrine 
than to that of Ideas: vide vol. i. 
C.S7 sqq. 

:!1 In the first reference Plato 
calls the Ideas ovala. (Phsedr 247 O 
Crat. 386 I) ; Phado, 78 D ; Parm. 
l- !f> A) ; didios ovcria (Tim. 37 E) ; 
del o^ (ibid. 27 ])) ; 6vrus ftv, &VTUS 
8vra (Pluedr. 247 ( , E: Eep. x. 
597 D) ; Tra^reXws ftv ^Soph. J48 
E ; Rep. v. 477 A ; /card ravra ov, 
U<TO.VTUS ftv, ad Kara TO.VTO, $x ov 
awr/rus (Tiin. ;]5 A; 38 A; Phjedo. 
78D;cf. Soph. 248 B); the adjec 
tive cu /rds or avrb 6 tan (Pliredr. 
247 D; The?t. 175 C; ( rat. 389 
D; Soph. 226C; Parm. 130 B; 133 
D ; 134 1) ; Phaedo, 65 D gq. ; 78 D- 
100 C ; Phileb. 62 A ; Kep. vi. 



self- identical element (as the name of Ideas shows 32 ) 
the Universal or Genus tfcat which is conceived 
general concepts. This alone it is which 

as early as the Theaetetus appears as the Essence of 
things and the sole object of science; 33 with the 

507 B; 493 E; Tim. 51 B; is 
an equivalent term ; cf. Aiist. Me- 
taph. iii. 2 ; 997 b. 8 ; vii. 16, 
1040 b. 32 ; Eth. Nich. i. 4 ; 1096 
b. 34. Other passages may be 
found Ind. Aristot. 124 b. 52 sqq. 
Farm. 132 the Ideas are de 
signated as eV; in Phileb. 15 A sq. 
as evdSes or juo^dSes. 

32 eI5os and idea (for which 
jUo/)07? is used Phsedo, 103 E ; 104 
I) ; Phileb. 12 C) signify in Plato 
generally any form or shape, espe 
cially, however, species or genus 
(for as yet these were not distin 
guished, vide note 94), and from 
a subjective point of view the Idea 
or general concept ; e.g. Euthy- 
phro, 6 D ; Gorg. 454 E ; Theaet. 
148 D ; Msno, 72 C ; Phsedr. 249 B ; 
265 D; Soph. 253 D; Parm. 129 
( ; 132 A-D ; Symp. 205 B ; 210 
B ; Eep. v. 454 A ; vi. 507 B ; 
viii. 544 D ; Phileb. 15 D ; 23 D ; 
32 C ; cf. Ast, Lex. Plat. ; Brandis, 
gr.-rom. Phil. ii. 221 sqq. Ac 
cording to Aristotle, Metaph. i. 6 
(supra, p. 233), Plato seems to 
have established this usage. Both 
ancients and moderns have in 
vain tried to discover any distinc 
tion in the signification of the two 
expressions. Seneca e.g. has the 
assertion, of course not original, 
that Idea is the exemplar. eTSos 
the forma ab exemplari sumta 
the archetype and the copy re 
spectively. Further development 
of this is found in the Neo-Platonist 
Johannes Uiacoiius, Alleg. in lies. 

Theog. 452 Ox., who was indebted 
to Proclus for his knowledge. He 
says that idea with a simple i sig 
nifies the purely simple, the CLVTOCV, 
the avrodvas, &c., eTSos with a diph 
thong ra avvdeTa eK fivxys re xal 
0-w/xaros T) fJLOpcprjs (add nal tfXijs). 
These are, of course, mere fictions. 
I cannot agree with Richter (De j 
Id. Plat. 28 sq.) and Schleier- 
macher (Gesch. d. Phil. 104), whoj 
would make etSos signify the con-i 
cept of a species, idea the arche 
type ; nor with the view of Deu-1 
schle (Plat. Sprachphil. 73), and 1 
Susemihl (Genet. Entvv. 122), that I 
in elSos we arc to understand the J 
subjective concept, in idea the ob- I 
jective fundamental form (Stein- } 
hart inverts this order, but acknow 
ledges both the expressions to be 
essentially the same). A compa 
rison of the above and other pas 
sages proves that Plato makes no 
distinction at all between the two, 
as regards their scientific mean 
ing; cf. e.g. Parm. 132 A sq. ; 
135 B. 

a;} Theffit. 185 B, after several 
concepts have been mentioned : 
rctOra STJ Travra 5ta TWOS irepl O.VTOLV 
SiavoeT: ; otfre yap Si 1 aKoijs ovre 61 
^i/ ews 010^ re rb Koivbv \a/.i,[3dveiv 
Trepl avr&v. Ibid. : i) 8 5id TI VOS 
Stra/iis TO T e Trt rraffi KOivbv /ecu rb 
eiri roi/rots 677X0? crot ; 186 U (with 
reference to this passage) : ev fikv 
dpa rols Tradr]iJt-a<rtv (sensible im 
pressions) OVK evi eTTiaTrifJ.ri, ev 
TOJ -rrepl txdvuv 



search for which, according to the Pha?drus, all Know- 
ledge begins ; 34 which the Parmenides describes as 
alone true Being; 35 to say nothing of the above- 
quoted distinct and reiterated declarations. Plato, 36 
therefore, expressly defines the Idea as that which is 
common to the Many of like name ; Aristotle similarly 
defines it 37 as the \v iiri TroAAwi;, and on this founds 
his objection that it is a contradiction to assume 
the Universal as Substance and, in so far, as a par 

ticular. 3s The view of modern criticism 39 that Ideas. 

yap Kal dXrjOeias evravda IJLV, w$ 
i-oiKe, fivvarbv atyaadai, e/cet 5 

:u Phaedr. 265 D (vide p. 199, 
where further proofs are adduced) ; 
ibid. 249 B. 

;! ; K.g. 132 C, where the eTSos is 
designated as the tv 6 eirl TrdVt TO 
vo7)fj.a eiroit voel, /j.lav nvd ovvav 
t Sea^the Iv dei ov r6 avrb eirl Tracriv. 
135 A : wj Zffri yevos TI fKaarov Kal 
ovffia avTT] Kad 1 avr-qv. ( 1 f. Hep. vi. 
507 B : TroXXd /raXd ... /cat TroXXd 
dyaOa Kal eVaora OVTUS elval 0a,ueV 
re Kal Siopiofj.ev rep \6y({) . . . Kal 
avTo 8i] Ka\bv Kal avro dya66v Kal 
OVTW Trepl iravruv, a r6re us TroXXd 
eric^e/uev, TrdXiv av /car i$av /j.iav 
ws fj-ids ova"r]s TiBevres 6 
irpoaayopevo/jLcis . . . 
Kal rd /xev STJ opdaOai <pafj.ev, vofladat 
8 oi5, TO.S 5 av I5^as voelff6ai p.ev 
opdaffat 5 ov. Tim. 31 A starts on 
the same supposition that for every 
plurality an Idea must be assumed 
as unity. 

36 Rep. x. 596 A : elSos 7<ip TTOI; TI 
^KacrTOV> ridfadat -rrepl 
ra TroXXd 0^9 ravrbv 8i>ofj.a 
eiri<t>fpofj.ei>. liitter (ii. 306 ; c. r . 303 
A 3) translates this passage : An 
Idea is assigned to each thing which 
we designate as a number of things 

by the same name, ami he infers 
that, inasmuch as not merely every 
individual but also every attribute, 
every condition, and every relation, 
and even the variably can be set 
forth in names, and every name 
signifies an Idea, therefore the Idea 
cannot merely express general con 
cepts. He iv, however, the main 
point is neglected ; viz. that what 
the Idea corresponds to is the oVo/to, 
common to many t/tiiif/s. 

37 Metapli. i . 9, 990 b. 6 (xiii. 
4, 1079 a. 2): K aP tuaffTov yap 
6fj.wvvfj.6v ri tan. (ev ro?s etSecrt) /ecu 
Trapd rds outrias (i.e. oixriat in the 
Aristotelian sense, subs ances) TUV 
re (? cf. Bonitz ad Inc.) a\\wi> &v 
<JTIV & e?ri TroXXwj/. Hence in \vhat 
follows the v firl TTO\\J> is mcn- 
tioned under the Platonic evidences 
for the doctrine of Ideas, vide p. 
232. Cf. Metaph. xiii. 4, 1078 b. 
30 : d\X 6 ^WKparys TO. Kado .ov 

OV XW/KCrrd ^TTOl ei Ov5 TOVS 6pt- 

07*01)5 oi 5 exwpto-ai /ecu TO. TOIO.VTO. 
T&V &VTUV ideas Trpoarjyopcvaai . Ib. 
1079 a. 9, 32; Anal. post. i. 11 

:<8 Metaph. vii. 1C, 1040 b. 26 
sqq. ; xiii. 9, 1086 a. 31 sqq. 

9 Ixitter, loc. cit., with whom 
Volquardsen agrees, Plat, Idee. d. 



contain not only the Universal in the sense we associate 
with the word, but also the individual, besides being 
incapable of proof, is thus evidently opposed to Plato s 
clear definitions. This Universal, which is the^ideay 
he conceives as separate from the world of Pheno 
mena, as absolutely existing Substance. 40 It is the 
heavenly sphere, in which alone lies the field of truth, 
in which the gods and pure souls behold colourless, 
shapeless, incorporeal Existence; 41 the justice, tem 

pers. Geist. 17 sq., without, how 
ever, adducing anything new. Hit 
ter brings the following points in 
support of his view: (1) what 
has already been refuted, note 
36. (2 ) The feet that in Oat. 386 D 
and elsewhere a permanent ex 
istence is attribute. d not merely to 
things, but also to the actions or 
activities of things. From this, 
however, it does not follow that 
these activities individually as 
distinct from their general con 
cepts go to form the content of the 
respective Ideas. (3) That according 
to Plato the soul is non-sensible 
and i in perish able. But ^ this is 
far from proving that it is an 
Idea. (4) That according to Therct. 
184 P, the individual soul is con 
sidered as an Idea, and (Phaedo, 
102 B) what Simmias is and what 
Socrates is, is distinguished from 
what is both of them. The latter 
passage, however, rather goes 
against Hitter, for what Simmias 
is and what Socrates is, i.e. their 
individual existence, is here se 
parated from the Idea or common 
element in which both partake. In 
the first passage (Theset. 184 D), 
certainly the argument is that the 
single experiences of sense coin 
cide ei s fJ.ia.i- Tiva iSeav, ei re 

efre 6 n Set /caAeu : but the latter 
qualification only proves that in 
the present case we have not to 
deal with the stricter philosophic 
usage of I Se et or eTSos. The word 
stands in an indefinite sense, just 
as in Tim. 28 A, 49 A, 52 A 
(where matter is called an etSos) ; 
59 C, 69 C, 70 C, 71 A ; Rep. vi. 
507 E, &c.; and also in the pas 
sage Theset. 157 C, wrongly cited 
by Hitter on his side. It is dis 
tinctly stated (Phaedo, 103 E, 104 
C, 105 C &q.) that the soul is not 
an Idea in the proper sense of the 
term. Vide infra. 

40 This word, taken in the ori-< 
ginal Aristotelian sense, signifies 1 
generally anything subsisting for 
itself, forming no inherent part <r 
attribute of anything else, and 
having no need of any substratum 
separate from itself. Of course if 
we understand by substance, as 
Herbart does (loc. cit. Werke, xii. 
76), that which contains several 
mutable properties, itself remain 
ing constant in the permutations of 
these properties, we have every 
reason for combating as he does 
the assertion that the Ideas are 

41 Phaedr. 247 C sq. 


, and science that are exulted above all Becom 
ing, and exist not in another, but in their own pure 
Essence. The true Beauty is in no living creature in 
earth or heaven or anywhere else, but remains in its 
purity everlastingly for itself and by itself, in one form 
(avTO KaB avrb /mtO avrov /uovoti$t cm oy), unmoved by 
the changes of that which participates in it. 42 The 
Essence of things exists absolutely for itself, one in 
kind, and subject to no vicissitude. 43 The Ideas stand 
as the eternal prototypes of Being all other things 
are copied from them. 44 Purely for themselves (aiVa 
K*a0 aura), and divided from that which has part in 
them (xwptc), they are in the intelligible sphere (roVoc 
VOTITOC;) to be beheld not with eyes, but by thought 
alone; 45 visible things are but their adumbrations: 46 
phenomena, we might say, are relative ; the Ideas alone 

4 - Symp. 211 A. Steinhart (PI. garded as a Genus. C . furl her, Rep. 

Wk. iii. 424, 441 ; iv. 254, 641), vi. 511 C (v. sup. p. 168); Parmeu. 

following the Xco-Pl;itoniVs(cf. vol. 130 C sq. ; Phileb. 16 C (v. sup. 

iii. b. 695; 723, 3, 2nd ed.), says: 206, 92) ; and subsequent remarks 

The Ideas must not be cot) founded on the extent of the World of 

with the general concepts of the Ideas. 

understanding in the Sympo- 4:J Pluedo, 78 D : del a&ruv eVa- 

sium (loc. cit.) they are most de- <rrov 5 &m, fj.ovofi8s oi> avrb Ka9 

cidedly distinguished from generic avrb, wtraurwj Kara raura ZX L Ka -l 

concepts : the concept of Spe- ovStwore ovSa/j.rj ouSa/itDj d\\o:Wtj> 

cies becomes an Idea only so far as ouSs/j.iai ^Se ^ercu. Phileb. 15 B 

it participates in the Ideal concept Tim. 51 13; vide note 6. 

of Genus. 1 I agree with Bonitz 44 Tim. 28 A; Parm. 132 D- 

9>lat. Stud. ii. 75 sq.) and others in Tlicret. 17(1 Iv 

opposing these views. The con- 45 P. 556, Pt. i. ; Parmen. 128 E ; 

tent of the Ideas is given by gc- 130 B sq. ; 135 A ; Ph;cdo, 100 B 

neral concepts, hypo>tatised by Rep. vi. 507 B (vide note 35). 

Plato without any difference being (ii They are represented as such 

made between Ideal and other con- in the famous allegory of the Cave- 

cepts: nor arc Species excluded from dwellers, Rep. vii. : 514 B sq 

the sphere of Ideas : every Species, 516 K ; 517 D. 
except the infima species, m;iy be re- 




47 Plato draws a distinction in 
a general logical sense between 
the Ko.6 aiirb and the irpos TI: 
cf. Soph. 255 C (dXX ol/J-aL <re 

ffvyx w P ^ v T ^ v % vrwv Ta /*" ai ^ Ta 
K0.9 ai/ra, TO, 5 ?r/)6s a\\rj\a ad 
MyeffBai) ; also Parm. 133 C ; Rep. 
iv. 438 A. HenuodoruB, ap. Simpl. 
Phys. 54 b. says : ruv tivruv ra 
Ka.6 aura dvat X^yei [IlXdrwj ], ws 
avdpuirov /cat iirirov, TO. 5e TrposeVfpa, 
K-ai TOVTUV TCL pev tOs TT/JOS ej ajrta, ws 
d7a#6i> Ka/cy, TO, 5 W5 7r/)6s rt. But 
although this logical distinction ex 
tends as such through both worlds 
the world of sense and the world 
of Ideas (cf. on the Idea of the Re 
lative, subter, note 126)-in a 
metaphysical sense the Idea alone 
is an absolute. It is, as we have 
just been told, avrb K0.0* avrb] 
Vhile of the phenomenon of sense 
it is said ertpov ri.vbs det 0e perat 
0dira0yxa, 5id raOra cv er^py -jrpoff- 
?)/cei rivl yiyeadat (Tim. 52 C). 

The latter is a relative, only a 
copy of the Idea has its exist 
ence only in and through this re 

48 Metaph. i. 9, 901 b. 2 ; xiii. 
9, 1086 a. 31 sq. ; xiii. 4; vide p. 
554, 1 ; Phys. ii. 2, 193 b. 35; 
cf. Anal. Post. i. 77 a. 5 ; Metaph. 
i. 6, 987 b. 8, 29 ; and my Plat. 
Stud. 230. 

49 ovaiai as Aristotle calls them : 
cf. Metaph. i. 9, 990 b. 30 ; 991 b. 1 ; 
iii. G, 1002 b. 29 ; vii. 10, 1040 b. 
2(5. How this determination har 
monises with the other, that things 
exist only in and through the Ideas, 
will be discussed later on. 

50 Tiedemann, Geist. d. spek. 
Phil. ii. 91 sq., where by sul 
stances are understood sensibl 
substances ; cf. Van Hensde, Inil 
Phil. Plat. ii. 3, 30, 40. 

51 Phys. iv. 1, 209 b. 33: II\(TWW 

jaCJ/TOl \KTtoV . . . 5td Tt OVK 1 

TO. ci5r). iii. 4, 203 a. 8 

are absolute. 47 In a word, the Ideas are, to use an 
illustration of Aristotle s, -^piaral : 48 i.e. there be 
longs to them a Being entirely independent of, and 
different from, the Being of things : they are self-sub- 
sistent entities. 49 Consequently, those theories which 
have confused the Platonic Ideas with sensible sub 
stances, hypostasized images of the fancy (ideals), or 
with subjective conceptions, are neither of them correct. 
The first 50 is now pretty generally abandoned, and has 
been already refuted by the preceding quotations from 
the Phredrus, Symposium, and Republic : we might 
also refer to the assertion of the Timaeus (52 B), that 
only the copy of the Idea in general, the Becoming, 
not the truly Existing is in space ; together with the 
corroborative testimony of Aristotle. 51 It may be said 



that Plato speaks of the super-mundane sphere, and 
that his disciple describes Ideas as cutrflrjra at Sta. 
But the figurative character of the former representa 
tion is too apparent to allow of its serving as proof; 
and Aristotle s remark is clearly not intended to convey 
Plato s own view, but to disprove it by its consequence. 53 
The other supposition, that the Platonic Ideas are sub 
jective thoughts, is more prevalent. Hardly anyone 
would now regard them as mere conceptions of human 
reason; 54 but it has been maintained, even recently, 
that they have no absolute existence, but are only the 
thoughts of God. 55 This theory is as untrue as the 

ITXarw^ 5 u [TOU ovpavov] { 
ovdev elvat <ru)/ia, oi)5 ras t S^aj, 5ia 
rb /J.t]5irov elvan. auras. 

82 Arist. Metaph. iii. 2, 997 b. 
5 sq. ; cf. vii. 1(5, 1040 b. 30. 

53 Cf. Plat. Stud. p. 231. 

54 Melanchthn, Opp. ed. IJretsch. 
xiii. 520; Buhle, Gescli. d. Phil. 
ii. 96 sq. ; Tcnnemann, Syst. d. 
Plat. Phil. ii. 118 sq. (cf. Gesch. 
d. Phil. ii. 29(5 sqq.), who makes 
the Ideas (viewed as archetypes of 
things), notions or envisageinents ; 
viewed as in the spirit of man, 
works of the Deity. -Plat. ii. 125 ; 
iii. 11 sq., 155 sq. ; Gesch. d. 
Phil. ii. 3i5J sqq. 

v< This theory is met with in 
antiquity among the later Pla- 
tonists, and is general in Xeo-Pla- 
tonism (cf. vol. iii. a. 726 ; b. 
105 : 411 sq. ; 469 ; 571, 5 ; 694 ; 
723, 3, 2nd edit.). There, however, 
it was connected with the belief in 
the substantiality of the Ideas, and 
it was not observed that the two 
theories are contradictory. The 
same view of the doctrine of Ideas 

is common among the Platonizing 
realists of the middle ages. Among 
the moderns, cf. Mei tiers, Gesch. 
d. Wissensch. ii. 803; Stallbaum, 
Plat. Tim. 40 ; Parm. 269 sqq. ; 
Richter, Do Id. Plat, 21 sq., 36 sq. ; 
Trendelenburg, l)e Philebi Cons. 17 
sq. The latter says that the Ideas 
are formce a mente artifice sus- 
ceptce, creations of the divine rea 
son, <[uce coyitnndo ltd ideas gig- 
nat, ut sint, quia cogitentur ; and 
when they are described as abso 
lute and as %u>/H(rrai, the meaning 
merely is that they continue in the 
thoughts of the Divinity indepen 
dent of the vicissitudes of phjieno- 
menal appearance. Cf., to the 
same effect, Kettig, A ma in the 
Philebus, &c. (Bern, 1866), 24 sq. ; 
Volquardsen, loc. cit p. 16 sq., who, 
to support his view, quotes certain 
dicta from Rep. iv. 435, not to be 
found there at all. Kiihn, De 
Dialectics, Plat, p. 9, 47 sq., ap 
proximates to this view in suppos 
ing that the Ideas (as was held 
by the Neo-Platonists) subsist in 



other and is altogether wanting in proof. Plato s hav 
ing been led to the doctrine of Ideas by his enquiry 
into the nature of knowledge proves nothing ; indeed, 
it is more in agreement with the objective derivation 
of Ideas. 56 The description of the Ideas as archetypes, 
according to which Divine Reason fashioned the world, 57 
or again, as the objects which human Reason con 
templates, 58 does not make them mere products of 
divine or human Reason. The Ideas are here pre 
supposed by the activity of Reason, just as external 
things are presupposed by the activity of the sense 
which perceives them. Nor can this theory be de 
duced from the passage in the Philebus (28 D, 30 
C), where the royal mind of Zeus is said to be the 
power which orders and governs all. Zeus here stands 
for the soul of the universe ; that which he governs 
is the world, 59 and reason, as is remarked, belongs 
to him from the cause above him the Idea, 60 which 
is accordingly treated not as the creation, but as the 
condition of the reason that thinks it. The propo 
sition in the Parmenides (134 C) that God has know 
ledge in itself is not more conclusive ; for this having 
is expressly described as participation, and the gods, 
not God, are spoken of 61 as the possessors of that 

(iod as the most perfectly real ex- K 6o-/Aos /ecu ??Atos /ecu <re\rii>r) /ecu 

istence, and at the same time are dartpes /ecu Tracra i) Trepupopa, the 

comprehended by his thoughts, cviavrol re /ecu &pat /ecu /j.r)ves. 

Similarly Ebben, Plat. id. doctr. (0 1 shall return to this later on. 

78 sqq. 61 OVKOVV e iirep n ciXXo avrrjs 

nti Supra, p. 228 sq. en-torT^s /xere xet, OVK &v riva po\ 

~ Tim. 28 A ; Hep. x. 506 A sq. ; \oi> T) 6cbv <palr,s %x eit> T V o-xpi^e- 

rhaedr. 247 A. or6.rf\v (TricrTrj/jLrjv, . . . OVKOIV fl 

8 Tim. 52 A, and frequently. irapa T< Oe$ avrrj tffrlv . . . i] ct/e/3t- 

69 T65e TO Ka\ov/j.(voi oXov, the 


knowledge. It is impossible to deduce from the pas 
sage that the Idea of knowledge as such exists only 
in the divine thought. And though, lastly, in tEe" 
Republic (x. 597 B) trod is called the Artist (Troiijrr/e), 
or Creator ($vrou/>yoc), who has created the Bed-in- 
itself, the Idea of the bed; it by no means follows 
from this that that Idea is only a thought of God, and 
has no existence except in the divine thought. 62 We 
must remember that this is not intended for a strictly 
philosophic explanation of the origin of Ideas; 63 and, 
that the Deity with Plato (as we shall presently find) v 
is convertible with the highest Idea. Derived Ideas 
may very fairly be called his creations without in 
volving the existence of the Idea only in the thought, 
and by the thought of a personality distinct from it 
self. 64 _^ , 

The substantiality of Ideas is certified not only by 
the testimony of Aristotle, but also by the above-cited 

ovre yiyv&ricovffi TO. wdpuirfia. othei 1 hand tlic passages quoted 

n-pdy/j-ara Oeoi tores. vol. ii. b. 276 sq. 2nd edit.) ; so that 

- When we say, (Jod made the we cannot make it any real cri- 

world, we do not assert that the tenon of scientific views. Tin ; 

world is merely a thought of God. is particularly true of the case 

;:! With the Greeks, as every- before us; for the sake of symme- 
where else, whatever is not mad; try, three different K\woiroiol must 
by man (and consequently all the exist, to correspond to the throe 
works of Nature) is referred to the different sorts of K\ivat. 
Divinity. ^So here, the K\ivi) cv 4 Hermann has therefore no 
T-fj (pvffei oiVa is MS such made l>y reason for discovering in this pas- 
God. But this is merely the ex- sage an entirely new development 
planation of popular religion, a of the doctrine of Ideas, and an cvi- 
tigure of speech used just as easily denco for the later composition of 
by those who expressly deny the the tenth book of the Republic 
attribute of Troieiv to the Divinity, (Plat. 540, 695); cf. Suscmihl, 
as Aristotle does (cf. De Ccelo, i. Genet, ii. 262 sq. ; Stein- 
4, 271 a. 33 ; Eth. N. x. 9, 1179 a. hart, iv. 258. 
24; i. 10, 1099 b. 11 ; and on the 


Platonic passages. Ideas which, exist absolutely, in no 
other, but purely for themselves, which remain for ever 
the Archetypes of things, uncreated and imperishable, 
according to which even the divine intelligence moves ? 
itself, cannot at the same time be creatures of that in 
telligence subsisting only in it, 85 owing their existence 
to it alone. The eternity of Ideas is proclaimed by 
Plato most emphatically, and regarded as the most 
essential of the characteristics by which they are to 
be discriminated from the phenomenon. 66 How then 
can they be likewise thoughts which first sprang from 
the thinking soul ? This difficulty is not obviated by 
saying 67 that the origin of Ideas from the Divine 
Mind is not to be thought of as an origin in time : 
for not only an origin in time, but all and every 
origin is denied to them by Plato. 68 Again, Plato 

65 Cf. e.g. the passage of the K6<r(*ov}, irpbtTrbrepovTu 

Symposium 211 A. Could Plato fjidruv 6 TtKTturipaw* O.VTOV aireip- 

have thus maintained that the Idea ydfrro, irbrepov irpb> rb /caret ravra 

of the Beautiful existed absolutely /ecu ihrarfrws x" *> *7^ s T0 7 e 7o^s. 

in none other, if his own opinion So in what follows : the creator ot 

had been that it did exist only in the world looked only irpbsro ttfcof 

some other, viz. the divine, under- not iryris rb yryorif. A\ e see plainly 

standing? tnat Eternity and immutability ot 

1(50 E.g. Tim. 27 D: &m> oiV existence on the one hand, and 

Srj /car toto 86ai> irpurov Siaipertov Becoming on the other, are to 

r65e- rl rb 6v del -ytveffiv 5t OVK Plato opposite and contradictory 

fyov K al ri rb y^vb^vov ptv ael ov antitheses ; the thought that any- 

S o&terore, &c. Ibid. 28 C; Symp. thing could spring into being and 

<>!0 E Aristotle frequently de- yet be eternal and unchangeable, 

signates the Ideas as eternal ; e.g. which is Trendelenburg s view of 

Metaph i 9, 990 b. 33; 991 a. the Ideas, is quite beyond Plato i 

26; iii. 2, 997 b. 5 sqq. intellectual horizon. CF. b. 

* Trendelenburg, loc. cit. 20 ; 15 B : ^v eKderyv (each Idea) 

Stumpf Verb. d. plat. Gott. zur ovaav ad rrjv C.VTTJV Kal pyre ytve- 

Idee d. Guten, 78 sq. ffiv Mre &\e6p OV rpo*kXUinp. 

w E.g. Tim. 28 C : r6de St otv Further details, supra, note b, p. 

TrciXtJ iri<TKfirTtoj> TTpl ai>TOv (EC. Tov 2 28 sq. 


himself mentions the supposition that Ideas may be 
merely thoughts, having no other existence than in the 
soul ; and sets it aside with the observation, that if it 
were so, everything that participates in them must be 
a thinking subject; 69 it is self-evident, he says, that 
absolute entities as such cannot exist in us. 70 And in 
another place, 71 he expressly guards himself against the 
notion that the Idea of beauty is a speech or a know 
ledge. Nor can Aristotle have been aware that the 
Platonic Ideas were the thoughts of the Essence of 
things, and not this Essence itself. Not only does 
he never imply that they have their abode merely in 
human or Divine thought, 72 but he describes them 
with all possible distinctness as self-subsistent sub 
stances; 73 and on this presupposition, subjects them 
to a criticism which would be utterly groundless, and 

l!!) I su-m. 132 15; cf. Tim. 51 C. and the other? 

It has been already remarked, Ft. 7:! This is clear from the pas- 

i. p. 254, 1, end, that Plato here sages cited supra, notes 48 and 48, 

lias in his mind the nominalism of and indeed from the single expres- 

Antisthenes. sion xwpttrrds, to explain which as 

70 Farm. 133 C: ofytcu cb> KOLL <? Trendelenhurg does (vide note 55) 

Kal &\\ov, oorts a.vrr]v riva /ca0 is made absolutely impossible by 

avrr]v fKaffrov ovtriav riderai elvc.i, Aristotelian usage and by the eon- 

6fj.o\oyij(ra,t. cLv Trp&rov fjLfi /^Se/a af nection in which it is used of the 

O.VTUI> elyou ei> THJUV. irws yap civ Platonic Ideas. Cf. e.g. .(not to 

ai-TT/ /ca0 avTrjv ZTI firj ; cite the whole of the passages a-1- 

"i Symp. 211 A. dnced, Ind. Arist. Si d) a. 35 sq.) 

"- Aristotle nowhere describes ^letaph. vii. lii, 1040 b. 26 sq. ; 

the Ideas either as thoughts simply, xiii. li, Insij a. 31 sqq., where lie 

(ir as thoughts of the Divinity; charges the doctrine of Ideas witli 

but, as we have already seen, lie a contradiction, in that the Ideas 

expressly calls them eternal sub- as concepts must be general and as 

stances. Can we, however, imagine %W/H(TTCU individual. With Trendc- 

tbat it he had known anything of lnlmrg s interpretation of x^pt- 

the theory discussed above/ he <rrbs this criticism is objectless: the 

would have neglected to object to archetypes in the thoughts of God 

the doctrine of Ideas the contradic- anterior to individual Being can 

tion between this determination only bo general concepts. 



must throughout have taken quite another turn, if he 
had understood by Ideas either concepts abstracted by 
us from things, or such prototypes as preceded things 
only in the creative mind of God. 74 It is equally 
evident that he was unacquainted with any theory of 
the Ideas being the creations of the Deity. 75 We are. 
therefore, fully justified in asserting that Plato held 
the Ideas neither as the thoughts of man nor of God. 

But if the Real, which is the object of thought, must 
be a substantial entity, it cannot on that very account 
be conceived in the manner of the Eleatics, as Unity 
without Multiplicity, Permanence without Motion. If 

74 As regards the first of the 
above supposed cases (viz that the 
Ideas are the concepts of human 
intelligence), this will be at once 
conceded. And as to the second 
not tlie slightest doubt can remain. 
Of all the objections of Aristotle 
against the doctrine of Ideas (a 
review of them is given, Pt. i. 
1). 21G sq. 2rd edit.), there is 
not a single one which does not 
lose its force as soon as we un 
derstand by the Platonic Ideas, 
not substantial and self-subsisting 
concepts, but the thoughts of the 
Divinity expressing the essence of 
certain tilings. 

<<J Tins definition is never men 
tioned cither in his account of 
the doctrine of Ideas, or in his 
criticism of it, though the question 
was obvious (had he been awaro of 
it) How does the creation of the 
Ideas agree with their eternity? 
(an eternity so fctrongly emphasized 
by Aristotle). Plato, in the dis 
quisitions which Aristotle lu-d 
heard, seems never to have re 
ferred to the Deity (vide p. 70, 70) 

as the agent through whom the 
Ideas are copied in things ; still 
less would he have done so in order 
to explain the origin of the Ideas 
themselves, which were at once 
eternal and without origin. 

76 If we say with Stallbaum 
(Parni. 209, cf. 272; Tim. 41) : idea* 
esse seiupitenias miminis divii 
cof/itationes, in quibtis inest ipsa 
re ruin ewentia ita quid em, utcjiialc* 
res coffitantw, tales etiam sint et ri 
sita consistant . . . in ideis veraiu 
ouaiav routiner!, the question . it 
once arises: Have the Ideas the 
essence of things merely as. content 
and object, so that they themselves 
are distinct therefrom as subjective 
and objective, or are they actually 
the substance of things? And how 
can they be so if they are the 
thoughts of the divinity ? Must not 
we admit in full the inference by 
means of which Plato (Parm. loc. 
cit.) refutes the supposition that the 
Ideas are mere thoughts : ?) eV 
elf at Kal iravra 


rh- All is established as One, nothing (as shown in the 
Sophist 77 ) can be predicated of it; for as soon as we; 
combine a predicate with a subject, a name with a 
thing, we at once introduce a plurality. If we say the 
One is, we speak of the One and of Being as of two 
things ; if we name the One or Being, we distinguish 
this naming from the thing named. Neither can Being 
be a whole, 78 for the conception of a whole involves that 
of parts ; the whole is not pure Unity, but a Plurality, 
the parts of which stand in relation to Unity. If Unity 
be predicated of Being, and Being thus becomes a Whole, 
Unity is therein discriminated from Being; we have 
then consequently instead of One Being, two the One 
and Being. If Unity does not belong to Being, and 
Being is therefore not a Whole, then, supposing the 
conception of Whole to have a real import (the Whole 
as such exists). Being lacks the existence that belongs 
to the Whole, and is so far Xon-existent. If it be 
maintained that there is no Whole, then Being would 
be deprived of magnitude, nor could it. generally speak 
ing, be or become anything." - 1 But still less can tin- 
All be assumed as merely Multiplicity. 80 The right 
course must be to admit both Unity and Multi-^ 
plicity. How are they to be reconciled? Only, 
as before shown, by the theory of the communion 
of concepts. If no combination of concepts were 

r - 244 J ,-245 K. DC Soph. Plat. ord. (Kiel. 1871 \ 

3 \Vliich must be the case a<> p. 1) sq., 38 f(\.\ and the authorities 

nil-ding to Parmenides. Vide Pt. there quoted. It is impossible for 

i. 471, 1; 473. me to substantiate my view in detail 

79 Cf. as to the train of thought here. 

of the above passages Ribbing, 80 Vide p. 228 sq. 

Plat. Ileenl. i. 196 sq. ; Petersen, 


possible, no attribute could be predicated of anything 
different from the thing itself: 81 we could, therefore, 
only say of Being that it exists ; in no relation, that it 
does not exist : whence, as a farther consequence, the 
Unity of all Being inevitably follows. This presup 
position is, however, untrue, as indeed it must be, if 
speech and knowledge in general are to be possible. 82 
Closer investigation convinces us that certain con 
cepts exclude, while others are compatible with, and 
even presuppose, each other. With the concept of 
Being, for example, all those concepts are compatible 
which express any determination of Being, even when 
these are mutually exclusive, as Rest and Motion. 
So far, then, as concepts may be combined, the Being 
denoted by one of them belongs to the other. So far 
as they are different, or mutually exclusive, the Being 
denoted by one does not belong to the other; conse 
quently the Being of the one is the Non-being of 
the other. 83 And as each concept may be combined 
with many others, but, as a concept, is at the same 
time different from all others, so to each in many 
relations there belongs Existence, but in an infinite 
number, Non-existence. 84 The Non-existent, therefore, 

81 The assertion of Antisthenes ; 81 256 D : <rTii> &pa e 

vide Part i. p. 252. TO /J.TJ ov ciri re Kivrjvcws elvai Kal 

s - 259 D sq. ; 251 B sq. Kara TTO.VTO. TO. yevij. KaraTravrayap 

8 5 Motion e.g. can be united with ? ? darepov <f>i>ffis Hrepoita.irfpyaiof.ifvr) 

Bein^, because it is/it is, however, rov OITOJ enaffrov OVK ov Trote?, Kal 

at the same time erepov rov 8vros, ^v/juravra 677 Kara ravra oi Jrws OVK 

fur its concept is different from ovra. 6p#o)s epov^ev, KOLI TrdXiv, OTL 

that of Being : OVKOVV drj <ra0ws i) yuere xet roO OITO?, elvcu re Kal ovro. 

Kivr]<rts &VTUS OVK ov <TTI Kal oi>, ... irepl fKacrrov apa TUV fiduv TTO\U 

eirfltrep TO? 6Wos^x f <- 250 D: fJ.ev e<m TO ov, aireipov 8e irXydfi rb 

254 1>. /U.TJ ov. 


is as well as the Existent ; for Non-being is itself a 
Beincr, namely the Being of the Other (and therefore 
not absolute, but relative Non-being, the negation of a 
determinate Being) and thus in every Being there is 
also a Non-being, the Difference. 85 , 

That is to say : the veritably Existent is not pure 
but determinate Being: there is not merely One Ex 
istent but many ; and these many stand reciprocally in 
the most various relations of identity and difference, 
exclusion and communion. 86 

The Parmenides attains the same result, by a 
more abstract and thoroughgoing dialectic discussion. 87 
The two propositions from which the second part of 
this dialogue starts, The One is and The One is 
not, affirm the same as the two assumptions refuted 
in the Sophist The All is One, and The All is 
Many. Both these propositions are reduced ad 
absurd nin by the derivation of contradictory conse- 

85 Cf. on this particularly 25G lutoly affirmed, then (not, as we 
E-259 B; 2G<>( . should have expected, that any- 

86 It is contrary to Plato s clear thing in motion may at the same 
and definite opinion to reduce the time be at rest, but) jcw^o-t s re 
doctrine of the KOivuvia. TUV yevuiv aurrj TravTdira.<nv i crratr &v, xai 
to the possibility of some things araffit TrdXiv avrTj KLVO ITO, and s-> 
connecting themselves with others throughout, e.g. 254 15 sq., 254 1); 
in the being of the individual, as KiVr/cris and orct<ris are d/xi/crw 717)65 
Stumpf does (Verb. d. plat. Gott. z. dXX^Xw, Being on the contrary HIK- 
Idee d. Gut. 48 sq.). The question rbv d^olv tcrov yap &/u.<f>w TTOV, 
put was (p. 51 D), not whether 255 A sq. : neither /averts nor 
a thing can partake in several Ideas ordcris is ravrbv or Odrepov. 255 
at the same time, but whether sq.: Ktvrjffiy _is Hrepov ^rdaew. it 
ovaia, KLV-rjais, (rrdcrij can enter into participates in Being, in TOLVTOV and 
communion with one another. AVe Odrepov, without being iden icnl 
are then shown that if it is abso- with them : it /, and it is a 
lutely denied that KiV^crts and araffis ravrbv or trfpov, &\ 

partake in ovffia, the consequence is ^ With respect to which cf. 
that they are not; if it is abso- snpra, note is?. 



quences ; and the inference is that true Being must be 

defined as a Unity including in itself Multiplicity. 
But at the same time, from the manner in which 
. the concept of Being is regarded in this apagogic 
proof, and from the contradictions which arise from 
that view, it is intimated that this true Being is 
essentially different from empirical Being, which, 
bounded by time and space, has no real Unity. With 
this exposition is closely allied that of the Phile- 
bus 88 (14 C, 17 A), which unmistakably refers to it. 
The result of the earlier enquiries is here briefly 
summed up in the assertion that the One is Many, and 
the Many, One ; and this holds good, not only of that 
which arises and passes away (TO yiyvoiutvov KOI aTroXXu- 
jucvov), but also of pure concepts ; they also are com 
pounded of One and Many, and have in themselves 
limit, and unlimitedness. Hence one and the same 
thing appears to thought, now as One, now as Many. 89 
j Plato therefore declares true Existence to be only the 
Eternal, Self-identical, Indivisible, Uncoutained by 
space ; but on the other hand, he does not conceive 
it, with the Eleatics, as one Tniversal Substance, but 
as a multiplicity of substances, of which each without 
detriment to its Unit combines in itself a Pluralit 

88 Vide p. 70, 5G. avrr)v Kal ftTjre yeveffiv /XTJTC oXe0/;o 

89 15 B: the question is n* t irpoa^exo^viiv, 6 juws elvai /3fj3cu6- 
whother a subject can unite in rara /j.iav TavryV fj.era 8e TOUT ev 
itself many attributes or a \\hole TCHS yiyvc,u.evois aft Kal direipois fire 
ninny parts on this people are 5ua-iraa/j.(i -t]V Kal TroXXd yeyovvlav 
now figreed but about simple or Qtrlov, ei Q\T\V avryv cuV^s xupis, 
unit-concepts-, irp&rov ytv ei TIVCLS 6 dr] irdvTuv d8vva.TUTa.TOV 0airou 
Set TOiai^Tas elvai fJLOJ>a.8as i>7ro>.a/u- &v, Tavrbv Kal i> ajj.a ev hi Te KO. 
fidveiv dXyd&s oiVas eiTa TTOJS av TroXXoFy yiyveadai. Cf. quotation 

s, JJLIO.V tK.Q.<jTT}v ovffav del TT]V on p. 206, 92, 



of relations and determinations. 90 This was required r 
by the origin of the theory of Ideas; the Socratic 
concepts, which form the logical germ of Ideas, arose 
from the dialectical combination of the different sides 
and qualities of things into one. And such a defi- * 
nit ion was indispensable to Plato ; there would be an 
end of any participation of things in Ideas, as well 
as of any combination of concepts, if these were to be 
regarded as Unity without Difference. 91 This, then, 

K) There is no objection to Ixib- 
bing s view (Plat. Idcenl. i. 336), 
that every Idea is also a concrete 
existence, allowing that concrete 
here has its true meaning, not of 
sensible being or individual exist 
ence, but simply (as in Hegel, when 
he speaks of the concrete concept) 
: of the universally Determined. On 
the other hand, I cannot see what 
llibbing has to object from a his- 
Uorical point of view against my 
i assertion that the Platonic Ideas 
[are the universal, nor do I find any 
explanation in tbe detailed discus- 
;,sion of the matter, loc. cit. p. 325 
sq.. :;.">5 sq. P>y saving that the Ideas 
are the universal, we mean that 
every Idea contains that which 
occurs equally in several individual 
things ; these individual things 
nay be more or fewer, and the 
scope of the Ideas may be accord 
ingly greater or less. It has already 
(p. 237 sq.) been incontrovcrtibly 
proved from Plato himself that 
this is the Platonic doctrine; nor 
indeed does Kibbing combat it, 
loc. cit. :)74. It is, therefore, in 
consistent of him to say (ibid.) : 
Plato no more intended to define 
the universal by the Ideas than to 

define the individual as the really 
existing ; he wished simply to show 
the necessity of a constant Being 
as separate from Becoming. 1 That 
the latter was his intention is 
beyond all doubt ; but (as unde 
niably shown by his most definite 
explanations) he knew that this 
constant Being was only to be 
found in the universal existence 
of genera. He hypostasizes this 
universal ; he attributes to it, as 
we shall find, even intelligence and 
life, and, generally, determinations 
which we are accustomed to attri 
bute to individuals only. But we 
cannot say that he was still unde 
cided as to its universality or not 
we can only say that to him these 
determinations did not seem in 
compatible with the nature of that 
which is thought of iu general 

91 Plato himself emphasizes this 
point of view. In the above-quote I 
passages of the Sophist he proves 
that the combination of concepts 
and the recognition of a Manifold 
in them are mutual conditions, and 
in the Philebus, loc. cit,, he finds 
the key to the problem of the 
simple or unit-concept compre- 



is the point at which the metaphysical doctrine of 
Plato most definitely diverges from that of the Elea- 
tics, and shows that its concern is not the denial 
but the explanation of Actual existence (des Gege- 

The union in Ideas of the One and the Many was also 
expressed by describing the Ideas as numbers. 92 This 
view must have belonged to Plato s later development : 
it has no place in his writings. We can distinguish 
between his scientific and empirical treatment of num 
bers as well as of Mathematics in general; 93 but his 
pure Mathematics is primarily a preparatory stage oi 
Dialectic, the numbers with which it has to do are 
not Ideal, but mathematical numbers ; not identi 
cal with Ideas, but intermediate between them and 
the things of sense. 94 Side by side with numbers j 
the Ideas of numbers are also spoken of, 95 but onl 
in the same sense that Ideas generally are oppo 

Lending the Many of the pheno- 
menon, in the position that "the 
actual includes unity and plurality, 
iiniteness and infinity. In the 
Parmenides, too, after the specu- 
lations ahout the participation of 
things in the Ideas (130 E sq.), 
ve find that dialectical discus- 
sion of which the last result is 
(vide p. 251) a progress from the 
pure Being of the Eleatics to the 
expanded and manifold Idea. More 
details on this point will be given 
later on. 

92 Cf. my Plat. Stud. p. 239 
sq., 236 nt. ; Trendelenbnrg, Plat, 
de Id. et Numeris doctrina ex 
Arist. illustr. p. 71 sq. ; Comm. in 
Arist. de An. p. 232 ; Brandis in 

Pihein. Mus. ii. (1828) 562 sq. 
Gr. -Rom. Phil. ii. a. 315 sq. : 
liavaisson, Essai sur la Me*ta 
physique d Aristote, ^i. 176 sq. 
Schwegler and Bonitz, ad loc. 
Metaph. (xiii. 6 sq. ; Susemihl 
Genet. Entw. ii. 525 sq.). 

9:{ See p. 216. 

04 The so-called numbers in whicl 
(Phileb. 56 D), unlike units, as 
e.g. two armies or two oxen are 
numbered together, the 
bpara. rj dirrd cru>, 
vii. 525 D); the dpid/toi 
as Arist. calls them, Metaph. i. 8 
end; xiv. 3, 1090 b. 36; cf. c 
5, 1092 b. 22 (dp. a(j}fj,a.TiKoi). 

95 Rep. v. 479 B ; Phredo, 101 


to things : so that under the totality of Ideas, Ideas of 
numbers also appear, not that Ideas in general are 
represented as numbers, or that all Ideas, as such, are 
at the same time denoted as being numbers. Aristotle 
likewise points out that the doctrine of Ideas was in its 
origin independent of the doctrine of numbers. 96 The 
germs only of Plato s later view may be perceived in 
some passages of the dialogues. The Philebus declares 
the Pythagorean doctrine of the universal Combina 
tion -of the One and the Many, of the Limit and Un- 
limiteduess, to be the keystone of Dialectic ; 97 this 
dialogue, therefore, applies to concepts those laws 
which the Pythagoreans had demonstrated in num 
bers. Plato further 98 recognises in numbers and ma 
thematical relations the connecting link between the 
Idea and the Phenomenon. Numbers represent the 
Ideas to us as the measure of the Corporeal and of 
that which is contained in Space : and if a symbolical 
expression had to be employed instead of a purely 
logical one, it was most obvious to express the Idea 
and its determinations in arithmetical formulas. The 
actual blending of the two was first asserted by Aris 
totle. According to his representation, the Platonic! 
Ideas are nothing but numbers, 99 and when Plato) 

% Metaph. xiii.4, 1078 b. .l: ircpl JO sq. ; c. 8, end; c. 9, 091 b. 

Se TUV ideuv irpurov avTyv T^V Kara 9 sqq. ; xiii. Ij sq. Further de- 

Ti]v ibeav 66^ai> eirKrueTrTeov, \j.t]Q(.v tails in the following note, and 

717165 TT?I> TUI> apidn&v Plat. Stud. 239. Theoplirastus, 

, d\\ tus vTrtXafiov e dpx^J oi Metaph. 313 I3r. (Fragni. 1^, 13, 
Winim.), refers to the same form ot 

TOLS ideas ^^o-avres eii/cu. 

)7 Vide p. 20<, . -. tlic doctrine: l\\a.rwv . . eis ras t Sc aj 

y3 As will be shown later on, avdirruv, TO.UTO.S 5 clsToi>sdpid/j.ovs, 
in chap. vii. e/c 5 TOVTUV e^s TOIS 

99 E.g. Metaph. i. 0, 987 b. 


said that things are what they are by reason of par 
ticipation in Ideas, he only departed from the Pytha 
gorean doctrine in distinguishing between mathematical 
and Ideal numbers, 100 and separating the latter, as tc 
their existence, from things perceptible to sense. 103 
The more exact distinction between the two kinds ol 
numbers is this : that Jjie mathematical consist of homo 
geneous unities, which can therefore be reckoned to 
gether, each with each, whereas with the Ideal num 
bers this is not the case: 102 consequently jthe forniei 
expi ess merely quantitative, the latter, logical deter 
minations. In the one, each number is like each iu 
kind, and only different in quantity ; whereas in the 
^ other, each is discriminated from each qualitatively. 
But a definite succession is also involved in the logi 
cal distinction of numbers. As the lower concepts are 
conditioned by the higher, the numbers correspond 
ing to them must also be conditioned; those which 
express the most universal and fundamental Ideas 
must precede all others. The Ideal numbers have 
therefore, as distinguished from the mathematical, this 
specific characteristic, that in them there is a Before 
and After ; 103 that is, a fixed succession. Though this 

100 dpi.dfj.oi eid-rjTiKoi (Metaph.xiii. ] "- Aris-totle expressly treats of 

,, 108-5 a. 5; xiv. 2, 1088 b. this distinction, Metapb.xiii.6-H; 

34, c. 3, 1090 b. 35), dp. TU>I> namely, c. 0, beginn. c. 8, 1083 a. 

fidw ibid. x : ii. 7, 1081 a. 21, c. 31. Cf. Plat. Stud. 240 sq. 
8, 1083 b. 3 ; xiv. 3, 1090 b. J " ! In my Platonic studies, 243 

33), dp. vorjroi (ibid, i. 8, end), sqq., I referred tliis expression 

Trpcoroi dp. (ibid. xiii. 6, 1080 b. with Trendelenburg to the mathe- 

22, c. 7, 1081 a. 21 sqq. ; xiv. 4, matical numbers, al^ consequently 

beginn. 1 . The expression, i. 0, 987 agreed with his conjecture, that in 

b. 34, is questionable. Metaph. xiii. 6, 1080 b. 11 (ol 

01 Metaph. i. G ; especially p. ajjufiorcpovs <f)a.alv eivat TOVS 

987 a. 29 b. 22 sq. dpi9/ui.oi>s, rbv fj.kv ZX OVTO - T <> Trp&Tepcv 



form of doctrine was in great favour with the older 
Academy, and though much quibbling and scholastic 

Kal vffTfpov ras t Se as, rbv S fj-adrj- 

ftaTlKOV TTapd TCtS t S^ds) ft fJ.r] luiS 

fallen out before ^x ovra - I must 
now, however, concede to Brandis, 
as Trendelenburg does, that this 
supposition is inadmissible, not 
merely because the manuscripts and 
commentators know nothing of it, 
but also because Priority and Pos 
teriority are attributed to Ideal 
and not to mathematical number. 
In Metaph. xiii. 0, 1080 a.^lG, 
from the premiss : TO ptv irpGirbv 
n avrou [TOV dpi9fj,ov]To 5 exb/J-evov, 
Tpov ov ry et Set f/ccuTTO?, we get 
the conclusion : /ecu TOVTO ?) eirl 
TUV fj.ova.5uv eitdus virdpx^ Kal 


oiroiaovv fj.6va.oc: so that those 
numbers are heterogeneous (dvvfj.- 
P\r)Toi}, of which, on account of 
their diversity in concept, the one 
is earlier, the other later. So wo 
find in c. 7, 1081 a. 17 : if all 
units were heterogeneous, there 
could be not only no mathematical, 
but no Ideal number: ov yap &TTCU 
77 Suds irpuTf] . . . ^Tretra oi e??s 
dpi0fj,oi. Hence a Before and After 
is supposed in the Ideal numbers. 
This is still plainer in what fol 
lows, and Z. 35 sqq., where both 
times the povdoes irpoTepai Kal 
vvrepat arc substituted for the 
fj.ovd8fs d<rv/j.(3\-r]TOi (cf. also c. 8, 
1083 a. 33). So too 1081 b. 28, 
where, in reference to the irpurr] 
Sudj, &c., it is asked : riva rpbirov 
K TrpoTtpuv fj.ovdo(ji}v Kal vGrtpuv 
crvyKflvTai ; further, p. 1082 a. 
26 sq., is very clear ; Aristotle 
objects, as against the Platonic 
theory of Ideal numbers, that not 
merely all whole numbers, but 
the parts of them as well, must 

stand in the relation of Priority 
and Posteriority ; that they must, 
therefore, be Ideas, and that an 
Idea must consequently be com 
posed of several Ideas (e.g. the 
Ideal Eight of two Ideal Fours). 
Further on, 1082 b. 19 sq., we 
read : if there is an dpid/j,6s Trpwros 
Kal devTepos, then the units in the 
Three-by-itself cannot be homo- 
gcneous with those in the Two-by- 
itself (d5id(popoi-(rvfj.[3\i]Toi), and 
c. 8, 1083 a. 6, the supposition 
that the units of the Ideal num 
bers are heterogeneous (Sid^opot = 
dcru/j.pX rjTOi) is met by the ques 
tion : Whether they differ quan 
titatively or qualitatively, and 
whether, supposing the former to 
be the case, al Tjp&Tai /xei^ous ?) 
eAdrrous Kal al vcrrepov e-rrididbacnv 
r) TOvvavTibv ; Finally, p. 1083 b. 
32, it is inferred that, as unity is 
prior to duality, unity must (ac 
cording to Platonic doctrine) be 
the Idea of duality. Here, then, 
the Ideas stand in tho relation 
of Priority and Posteriority. From 
these passages it is clear that 
with Aristotle the irpbrepov Kal 
verepov marks the peculiarity of 
the Ideal numbers, and at the 
same time somCilight is thrown on 
the meaning of that expression. 
That number is prior out of which 
another proceeds ; the number two 
e.g. is prior to the number four; 
four is prior to eight ; for the Four 
proceeds from the Ideal Two and 
the Suds dbpurros, and from these 
the Eight proceeds (Metaph. xiii. 
7, 1081 b. 21 ; 1082 a. 33), only 
not (cf. Arist. ibid.) Kara irpbtr- 
6e<nv, as if the Two were contained 
in the Four, but by ytwrjffis (what- 



pedantry have been expended upon the relation of num 
bers to Ideas, 104 it can only have had a secondary impor- 

ever may be the exact meaning of 
that mysterious phrase), so that 
one number has the other as its 
product. The Before and After, 
therefore, signifies the relation of 
the factor to the product^ of the 
conditioning to the conditioned. 
In support of this interpreta 
tion Trendelenburg (Plat, de id. 
doct, p. 81) rightly refers to 
Metaph. v. 11, 1019 a.: TO. pkv 
877 ourw X^yeTdi 7rp6repa Kai vffre- 
pa ra 8 Kara <pv<TLV Kai ov<rlai>, 

avev cKeivwv, JJ.-TI (cf. 
Phys. viii. 7, 260 b. 17; Eth. 
Eudem. i. 8; Theophr. Metaph. 
ii. p. 308, 12 Br., where the apxal 
correspond to the 7rp6repaand TO. virb 
ras apxasto the vorepa) 77 Siaipfoei 
^X/"7"" aT nXdrcoi . Cf. also Categ. 
c. 12 : Trpdrepov crtpov crepov 
X^yercu rerpdxws, -jrpCjTOV Kai 
Kvpi&Tara Kara XP^ VOV Seure/aop 
5t TO fJirj a.vTi<JTpi<t>QV Kara rr]t> TOU 
elvat aKoXovOtjcnv, olov TO fr rCjv 
Sfo irpdrepov 8vow /J.& yap OVTWV 
dKoXovdei evdbs TO fr elvai, eVos 5e 
8t>TOS OVK avayKalov 8vo elvai, &C. 
Plato, Parm. 153 B: iravruv &pA 
rb fr TTp&Tov ytyove rCjv 
tX<> VT uv irpwTOi> 8^ ye, ol/xat, 
7670^6$ Trporepov ytyove, ra 8^ 
d\\a varepov. The consideration 
which formerly made me doubtful of 
this, viz. that according to Metaph. 
iii. 3, 999 a. 12, there is no Before 
or After in individuals (&TO/UI), I 
no longer consider of any import 
ance. Though these are condi 
tioned by some other individual 
thing, still in individual exist 
ences (into which the lowest 
concepts of species finally resolve 
themselves and it is these alone 

which Aristotle is considering, cf. 
p. 998 b. 14 sqq.) we find, not ihe 
relation of Conditioning to Condi 
tioned, of higher to lower concept, 
but a logical co-ordination. But 
how can this view of the Before 
and After :be reconciled with the 
statement (Metaph. iii. 3, 999 a. 
6 : Eth. iv. 1, 4, 1096 a. 17 ; Eth. 
Eud. i. 8, 1218 a. ; cf. my Plat. 
Stud. p. 243 sq.) that Plato and 
his school supposed no Ideas of 
things in which there is a lie- 
fore and After? Against Bran- 
dis expedient, of taking the irpo- 
Tepov Kai vvrepov in these pas 
sages in a different sense to that 
of those previously quoted, viz. 
here as signifying numerical, in 
Metaph. xiii. as signifying con 
ceptual sequence, 1 must repeat 
my former objection (which Suse- 
mihl, loc. cit. ii. 527, has not 
succeeded in refuting) that ^ a 
technical expression like irporc- 
pov Kai varepov used by the same 
writer in the same way and in 
analogous connection, cannot^ pos 
sibly have opposite meanings. 
Hitherto everything proves satis 
factorily that the expression, 
Things in which there is a Be 
fore and an AfterJ was the stand 
ing denotation in the Platonic 
school for the peculiarity of cer 
tain numbers. How could this 
expression be used to signify the 
exactly opposite peculiarity of 
another class? The difficulty 
comes before us in another way. 
If we ask why no Ideas were 
presupposed of things in which 
there is a Before and an After, 
Aristotle answers : Because things 
which are separated in species, 



tance in its bearing on Plato s original system, other 
wise more decided traces of it must have been somewhere 

but at the same time stand in 
^i definite relation of sequence, 
so that one of them is always 
first, another second, &c. cannot 
be reduced to any common con- 

. * 

cept. This reason is stated, Poh t. 
iii. 1, 1275 a. 34 sqq. : Aet 8t 
JJ.T] \av6dvftv, OTI run/ irpay/jLaTuv 
tv oh TO. viroKfifj-fva Siafapei r<p 
cfSei, A-ai Tb plv avT&v e<rrl irp&Tov 
TO oe ofirrepov rb 5 exofJ-evov, v) 
Toirapdirav ovStv eaTiv, 77 roiavra, 
rb Koivbv, ?} yXiaxpW This is 
just the case in the constitu 
tion of states : they are eu5 5ta- 
4>tpov<rai d\\ri\uv ; at the samo 
time, however, ai ^tv vvTepat ai d* 
irpoTfpai ; for the perverted are 
necessarily later than the good 
states, from the deterioration of 
which they take their rise. The 
question, therefore, cannot be 
answered according to the con 
cept of the iroXiTTjs by any ade 
quate definition no characteristic 
mark can be given which is ap 
plicable to all. On the same 
ground, Aristotle, Eth. N. loc. cit., 
supports an objection against an 
Idea of the Good. The origina 
tors of the theory of Ideas, he says, 
OVK twoiovv t Se as iv oh TO irporepov 
xal TO vvTfpov ZXeyov, Sioirep ovd 
rdv dpid/j-Cw idtav Ka.TcaKtvaov. . 
Accordingly, they ought to suppose 
no Idea of the Good ; for the Good 
occurs in all the categories ; there 
is a Substantial Good (Divinity and 
Nous), a Qualitative, a Quantita 
tive, a Relative Good, &c. ; the 
Substantial, however, precedes the 
Qualitative, &c. ; the Good, there 
fore, falls under the determina 
tion of the Before and the After, 


(or as it is put subsequently : 
K av el r] KOIVOV TI Ka66\ov 
Kal &>}. For the same reasons, 
numbers, if they stand as con 
ceptually separate in the relation 
of the Before and the After, can 
be reduced to no common concept, 
and therefore to no Idea. But it 
is in this relation that the Ideal 
numbers stand, and the Ideal num 
bers only. There is consequently 
no Idea which includes them all in 
itself. Each is an Idea by itself 
(cf. Metaph. vii. 11, 1036 b. 15, 
where the following statement is 
put in the mouth of the advocates 
of the doctrine of Ideas: ZVLO. tfv 
yap tlvai Tavrd Tb i5oy Kal oC rb 
etSos, olov dvdda the avroSvas 
Kal Tb ddos 8vd8os\ which in 
cludes in itself a plurality of 
homogeneous things (e.g. the Ideal 
duality, the avTodvds, includes all 
mathematical dualities), but all 
of them together have no Idea 
above themselves, as they cannot 
be brought under a common con 
cept. The Ideal two, three, four, 
&c., are specifically distinct ; they 
are not co-ordinated as species 
in juxtaposition, but are to be 
subordinated as prior and pos- 
. terior, conditioning and condi 
tioned; they therefore cannot be 
looked upon merely as separate 
expressions of one Idea, the Idea 
of number. Eth. Eud. i. 8, also 
contains a reference to the doctrine 
of Ideal numbers : ZTL tv &rots 
VTrdpXfi Tb irpoTfpov Kal vaTtpov, 
OVK Hart KOivbv rt wapd Tavra Kal 
TOVTO xup"TT6v cir) yap av TI TOV 
wpurrov irpbTfpov irpbrtpov yap Tb 




found in his works. The main point, to him, is the 
thought which underlies the doctrine of numbers that, 

KOivbv Ka.1 x l * } P lffToi; ^ ia T0 ttvcupoi - 


TP&TOV. olov d TO 8tir\do-iov Trp&TOv 

rb 7ro\\air\do tov TO Koivrj 
povfMfvov elva.1 yjdouj rbv. &TTCCI yap 
TOV dnr\acriov irpbTepov, d crv^aivei. 
TO KOLvbf elvai TTJV ideav. In the 
words, TO onr\d<riov, &c., Eudemus 
undoubtedly had in view the Pla 
tonic theory of the indefinite 
duad from which, through its con 
nection with the unit, the Trpwr?; 
ovds must proceed as the first 
actual number (Metaph. xiii. 7, 
1081 a. 14; 21, 1081 b. 1 sqq.). 
The only peculiarity is that in 
order to prove the impossibility of 
an Idea of that in which there is 
a Before and an After, he lays 
stress on the supposed separate 
existence of the Ideas. In Metaph. 
iii. 3, this reference to the Platonic 
Ideal numbers appears to me to 
hold good ; although Bonitz (Arist. 
Metaph. ii. 153 sq._ 251), while 
agreeing generally with the above 
explanation, here and v. 11 (ibid.) 
denies it, with the concurrence of 
Bonghi (Metafisica d Arist. 115 
sq. ; 253 sq.) and Susemihl. Aris 
totle raises the question, whether 
the ytvrj or the evvirdpxovTa 
(the material elements of things) 
are to be considered as dpxai, 
and remarks among other objec 
tions to the first of these suppo 
sitions : TI ev oh TO irpbTtpov Kal 
vffTepdv eaTi, ovx olov Te TO eiri 
TOVTWV elvai TL Trapa TavTa. olov ei 
irpurri TWV dpi6fj.wv T) 5i;as, OVK ZffTai 
TIS dpidfjLOSTrapd TO. dotjTuv dpi0fJ.uV 
ofJ-oius o ovde cr%^/xa Trapa TO. etorj 
rdv axw^TWi . Still less, in any 
other cases, will the 7^77 be 

Ta ddrj. TOIJTWV yap ooKel fj.d\i<TTa 
elvai yfrr]. Moreover, of those 
cases eirov TO nkv (3f\Tiov TO 8 
X^pov, there can be no 76/0?, for 
the better is always prior. Aris 
totle is speaking quite generally, 
but in the example that he quotes: 
olov d irpwTTf] TUV dpidpuv T] dvas, 
lie seems to have the TrpwTos 
5fds in his mind (Metaph. xiii. 7, 
1081 a. 23, b. 4), which alone is 
qualified to be an example of that 
in which the Before and After is, 
this being supposed to exist only 
in the Ideal numbers. However, 
the interpretation of these words 
is of no importance to the present 
question. I cannot agree with 
Susemihl, loc. cit,, that neither 
Eudemus nor Aristotle would have 
expressly proved the impossibility 
of Ideas of the Ideal numbers, be 
cause the impossibility is self- 
evident. It is not proved, either 
in Eth. Eud. i. 8, or Metaph. iii. 
3, that there are no Ideas of the 
Ideal numbers. In the former pas 
sage it is shown that there are no 
Ideas of the things in which the 
Before and After is, and the num 
bers are merely taken as an ^ex- 
ample, but not the only possible 
example. In the latter there is. 
, no proving at all ; it is laid down 
as something acknowledged, and 
again illustrated by the numbers, 
only by way of example. And 
it is far from being self-evident 
that there can be no Itleas of 
Ideas ; indeed, Aristotle, Metaph. 
i. 9, 991 a. 29 sq., xiii. 5, 1079 
b. 3, remarks that Ideas of Ideas 
are a necessary consequence of the 
doctrine of Ideas. Still less can I 
concede to Susemihl that my view 



in Keality, Unity and Multiplicity must be organically 

Plato is opposed to the distinctionless Unity of the 
Eleatic Substance. He declares himself equally against 
its motionless Invariability : and here he is in colli 
sion with his friend Euclides, who at that time ap 
pears to have admitted the Plurality of Being, while 
he denied to it all motion and activity. 105 This view, 
says Plato, would make Being incognizable for us, 
and in itself lifeless and irrational. If we are to par 
ticipate in Being, we must act upon it, or be acted 
upon by it : if we are to know Being, a capacity on 
its side of suffering (Traaytiv, the power of becoming 
known) must correspond to our faculty of knowledge. 
And suffering without motion is impossible. 106 If true 

is inadmissible in the passage of 
Eth. iv. 1, 4. Susemihl thinks 
that, as the Good, an Idea of which 
the Idea of the Good is, is not it 
self this Idea, the numbers of which 
Plato supposes no Idea, cannot 
themselves be the Ideal numbers. 
But because the separate kinds of 
the < Jood, which Plato reduces to 
one Idea, arc not themselves Ideas, 
we can by no means infer that the 
numbers which he docs not reduce 
to one Idea, are likewise not Ideas. 
However, in the comparison of the 
several kinds of Good with the 
several numbers, the point is not 
whether one or the other arc Ideas 
or not, but only that in both the 
Before and the After is found. 
Aristotle says that whatever stands 
in the relation of the Before and 
the After, has, according to Plato, 
no Idea. But not merely do the 
numbers (as Plato supposes) stand 
in this relation, but also the several 

kinds of the Good. Therefore, there 
can no more be any Idea of these 
than, according to Plato, there can 
be of the numbers. This conclu 
sion remains equally valid, whether 
Plato eays of the Ideal or the 
mathematical numbers, that they 
stand in the relation of the Before 
and the After, and therefore can be 
reduced to no Idea. 

104 p ar ti cu ] arg on thig point 

05 Cf. Part i. p. 218 sq. 

0(5 Soph. 248 A sqq. ; Grote 
..Plato, ii. 439 sqq.) has mistaken 
Plato s meaning in trying to prove 
that Plato here represents the 
Ideas as something relative ex 
isting merely in relation to the 
knowing subject and that he 
thereby returns to the theory of 
Protagoras, refuted in the Theze- 
tetus. Plato does not say that 
the existence of the Ideas is con 
ditioned by our knowledge of them ; 



Existence is not to be without mind and reason, it 
must also have life, soul, and motion. 107 We cannot 
deny to it all permanence of Being, if knowledge is to 
be possible ; yet we must not conceive it as absolutely 
unmoved, 108 but as possessing reason, life, and energy. 
The concept of Being must be reduced to that of 
Power. 109 Ideas are described as something energetic, 

what he asserts is merely that the 
Ideas, among other attributes, have 
the attribute of being known by 
us. If we follow Grote we must 
suppose that in speaking of a know 
ledge of the Absolute or of the 
deity, we are at the same time 
making them into relatives of some 

107 Loc. cit. 248 E sq. : T* Se 
irpbs Aios; u>s dXrjd&s Kunfffiv Kal 
i"wV Kal ipvxty Kal <pp6vr)(Tiv 1) 
padiws 7reicr077cr6/u,e#a TQ 7rai>reX<3y 
SVTI, JUT] irapelvai, fj^rjS^ rjv avTo /m^ot 
(ppovelv, dXXct <re/j,i>bv Kal dyiov, 
vovv OVK %X OV > dKLvrjTov eaTos elvai ; 
Aeivbv IJ.VT ai>, c& fre, \6yov 
o-vyx^po ifJ.ev. AXXa vovv /*& ?x fil> > 
farjv 5 fj.rj <p0}fjiv\ Kal TTWS : 
AXXa raOra ptv dfj.(poTepa 
, ov 

<}>-f)<rofj.ev avrb ^x LV avrd : Kal riv 
av erepov %x L Tpdirov, AXXa 5^ra 
vovv ptv Kal farjv Kal ^VXTIV, dKivrj- 
TOV ^VTOL rb wapdirav ^^v^ov ov 
eardVat; HdvTa(-fj.oiyea\oya raur 
flvai (paiverai. It is impossible to 
understand this passage as Her 
mann does, viz. that intellect and 
motion are declared to be a true 
Being, but are not attributed to 
all true Being. 

108 Loc. cit. 249 B sq. : v/j.f3aii>ei 
5 oPj , &QeaiTTjT,dKivr)T(i0j re QVTUV 
vovv /J.rj8evl irepl fj,r)8ei>bs elvai /J.ij8a~ 
/AoO . . Ty drj <pi\oa 6<f>(f) . . Trdaa, 
v, dvdyKi) 5ia raOra, /xijre 

TUV v $i Kal TO, TroXXo. etdr] \eybvTUV 
TO irdv e<?T7)Kbs a7ro5e xea 0at, K.T.X. 
109 Loc. cit. 247 L> Plato meets 
the Materialists with the funda 
mental position : Xeyw Srj TO Kal birot- 
avovv K(.KTt]iJ.ivQv ovva/JLLv etr els TO 
iroteiv ercpov OTLOVV ire<pVKbs etr eis 
TO iraOelv Kal crfJ-iKp^Tarov virb TOV 
<pav\oTaTov, K$LV el ^QVQV et <rct7ra, 
Trai ToDTO OVTWS ivaL TiBefJiai yap 
opov opifeiv TO, ovTa, ws ZCTTIV OVK 
&\\o TI ir\7]v 8vva/uis. Kven this 
position, we are told, 248 C, is 
not conceded by the Megarians, 
because doing and suffering be 
long merely to Becoming, and 
as the above instances will hold 
good on the other side, the de 
termination that the existent 
is nothing else than SI/OSI/AIS, is 
proved quite generally of all 
that is real and actual. I can 
not agree with Deuschle (Plat. 
Sprach. phil. 35) that we are to 
understand by 5iW/m not power, 
but possibility of entering into 
relation with anything else. In 
the first place we can scarcely 
believe that Plato defined the oVrws 
6V by the concept of possibility, 
the very concept to which Aristotle 
reduces the Platonic /U.TJ 6V, Matter. 
Again, no single passage is to 
be found in Plato where StW/xts 
signifies mere possibility ; it in 
variably means power or ability 
wherever it stands in a connec- 



iii the Pligedo, where they are made the proper and only 
efficient causes of things ; 110 and still more definitely 

tion analogous to that under dis- activity, and presupposes an active 

cussion. Finally, Plato himself ex- power. 

plains unmistakably what mean- no 95 E, Socrates passes on to 

ing he attached to the expression, speak of the doctrine of Ideas 

in Rep. v. 477 C: ^yofj-ev Svvd- with the remark: we have now 

/taj -yeVos TI TUV OVTWV, ah OTJ Kai irtpi yevecreus Kai (pdopas rrjv atTiav 

Tj/j-els 8vvdfj.e6a a 5vvd/j.e6a Kai dXXo 8iaTrpay/j.aTev<Ta<T6ai. In his youth 

KQ.V o TI irep av dvvrjTai. olov X^yw he had been addicted to natural 

6\^iv Kai cLKorjv, etc. Each of these philosophy, to searching out the 

owd/jieis is something colourless causes of things, dia T L yiyverai 
and shapeless, generally speaking 
something not an object of sense, 

only known in its operat 

KO.I 8ia rl 

bia ri j-ffri ; he gave it up, however, 
without havin attained any satis 

in a word, power. Stumpf, again faction. Hence he was all the 
(Verh. d. plat. Got. z. Idee d. more sanguine about the Nous of 
Guten. 19, 30), asserts that Plato Anaxagoras. As a cosmoplastic 
nowhere calls the Ideas efficient Mind must adjust everything for 
and operative causes ; that Soph, the best, he had hoped to hear 
248, D sq., he attributes to them from Anaxagoras the final cause 
merely the passive motion of be- of all things. In this hope, how- 
coming known, not the faculty ever, he was miserably deceived ; 
of putting something 



motion. This latter passage is 
quite irrelevant: for though Plato material causes. 

instead of intellectual causes An 
axagoras had only mentioned 
But in reality 

proves that the Ideas, in so far these are merely the indispensable 
as they are known, suffer or means (tKeivo avev ov TO ainov OVK 

are passve and therefore also 
moved, they are not excluded from 
the possibility of having active 
as well as passive faculties. 
Stumpf, in order to support 
his view (to say nothing of the 
passages which I quote from the 
Republic and the Philebus), is 
obliged to pervert the perfectly 
clear enunciation of the Phaedo 
(quoted in the following note) 
and the definite statement of 

B.V TTOT etr) O.ITLOV) ; the actual and 
only operative causes are the final 
causes (ryv 8t rov cos 016^ re /Se X- 
Tia-rct [-ov] avra [he is speaking of 
the heavenly bodies] refloat SiVa- 
vvv KT<r6ai, Tavrijv oiVe 
ovre TWO. oiovTcu 

ov8li> OIOVTO.L, 99 B). As then no 
one has proved these causes to be 
in things, he has himself looked 

Aristotle : while with regard to for them in the Ideas, and so sup 

the Sophist he has to maintain poses that it is the presence of 

that soul is attributed to the Ideas the Idea (the Ka\6v avTb, etc.) of 

only in a broad sense, as having anything which makes a thing 

self-movement, but not the faculty what it is. In the whole of this 

of operating on anything else, explanation not merely is there 

But even this self-movement is an no distinction drawn between tho 



in the Philebus, where Plato ascribes to the highest 
\ cause (by which we can only understand Ideas), 111 

conceptual, the efficient, and the 
final cause, but all three are 
clearly enunciated as one and the 
same. The Ideas, or, in Aris 
totelian terminology, the concep 
tual or formal causes, are to do 
just what Plato sought for in vain 
in Anaxagoras, viz. to bring out 
the &pi<rTov and jSeXTioTov ; they 
coincide with the final causes. 
Plato declares his unwillingness 
to have anything to do with any 
other causes besides these (100, 
D : TO. nty dXXa xat petf ecu, rapdr- 
TO/JLCLI yap iv rots SXXots Tracn, TOVTO 
5 cbrXws /cat drex^cos K.a.1 I crws 
evrjBus ^x w 7ra P > tpa- VT $ on OUK 
#XXo TI [that which is 
beautiful] KaXbv ?) r? e/cetVou TOU 
KO\OU etYe irapovvia ei re 
ei re OTTTJ 5rj /cat 
ov yap TI TOVTO 
dXX on Tig /caXy TTOLVTO. ra /caXd 
yiyvcTai /caXd). They are suffi 
cient for him, nor does lie find 
any further principle necessary ; 
they are, as Aristotle says, in 
the passages quoted, p. 398, 1, 
on the occasion of the passage 
before us, /cat TOU elvai Kal TOV 
yiyveaOai at rta, at rta /cat yeveffews 
/cat (f>6opas. 

111 Plato (Philebus, 23 C sqq.^; 
cf. 16 C) makes a fourfold di 
vision: the Finite, the Infinite, 
the Compound of the two, and the 
Cause of the Compound. He goes 
on to describe the Infinite in such 
a way that we can only under 
stand by it the so-called Plutonic 
Matter. By the Compound of the 
two he means the world of sense, 
in so far as it is ordered by defi 
nite proportions, the 7eVco-ts ct s 

ovffiav K T&V fJiera TOU Tre paros aw- 
eipya.o fj.&tev /j-^Tpuv. Brandis (gr.- 
rom. Phil. ii. a. 332), Steinhart 
(PL W. iv. 641), Susemihl 
(Genet. Entw. ii. 13), and Rettig 
(Atria in the Philebus, c. Bern. 
1866, p. 13 sq.) refer the Finite to 
the Idea ; the fourth principle, the 
Cause, must, they think, signify 
the Divinity either as identical 
with the Idea of the Good, or (as 
Kettig would have it) the creator 
of tins and all other Ideas. But 
with regard to the first of these 
suppositions : Would Plato, who 
otherwise always opposes the Ideal 
world, as a whole, to the phenome- 
nahvorld, have made in this one case 
such, a total distinction between 
the highest Idea and the derivative 
Ideas, as to place them in two 
quite separate classe?, and to par 
allel the distinction between them 
by that between Idea and pheno 
menon? If, on the other hand, 
we understand by at rta the Di 
vinity as the creator of Ideas dis 
tinct and separate from the Idea of 
the Good, this view is not only 
opposed by all the reasons (to be 
discussed later on) which favour 
the actual equalisation of the Good 
and the Divinity, but also obliges 
us to refer the Good to the sphere 
of the Trepas, whereas, ace. to l\ep. 
vi. 508 E sqq., it is elevated 
above all being and knowledge 
as the atrta fTrtoTT^s /cai d\rj- 
0et as. In the Philebus (64 C sqq.) 
it is clearly described as the Cause 
of the Compound ; even a product 
of the good, yoOs and eTrtor??/^, 
(28 C sqq. ; 31 A) is classed 
with the airta. And Plato s de- 



reason and wisdom ; and thence deduces the adaptation 
! of means to ends in the economy of the universe. 112 

scription of the Tre pcts is not at 
all suitable to the Ideas. To 
the finite (p. 25 A, D) must be 
long everything which does not 
admit (5e xe<r0cu) of more or less, 
but only of the opposite determi 
nations, TTpClTOV (JitV TO iffOV 
tV6r?7Ta, /zero, ok TO Lvov TO 
ffiov Kal irav o n irep av Trpos a ?) /j,eTpo-s 77 TT/SO 
that is to say, everything which 
is capable of exact numerical and 
metrical determination. The sphere 
of mathematical relations is thus 
clearly denoted by what would be 
a very imperfect description of the 
Ideal world. The field of the Ideas 
is in no way limited to numerical 
and metrical determinations. And 
it is improbable that this point of 
view is emphasised merely in 
opposition to the airetpov without 
excluding the other determinations 
of the Ideas (Brandis, loc. cit.), 
because Pluto clearly intends to 
give an accurate and universally 
valid enunciation of what we are 
to think of under the different 
principles. Further, as voOs and 
TrtaT-r)/j.rj are reckoned not under 
the 7rf />cty, but under the fourth 
principle, the am a (v. sup.), and 
as according to a well-known 
fundamental principle of Plato s 
(supra, p. 225 sq.) the value and 
truth of knowledge depend on the 
nature of its object, the Ideas, 
(which are the highest object of 
contemplation forpoDy, and through 
the possession of which knowledge 
as such originates), cannot be 
placed a degree lower, in the 
sphere of the Tre /ms. Finally 27 
D sqq., the preference is given to 

the composite life of pleasure and 
knowledge, because it belongs to 
the Tphov 7^0?, ^vfJ-iravTuv T&V 

dTTfipUV VTTO TOV irtpCLTOS deO/J.<;l>()t>. 

This preference of the compound 
to the Traces will not harmonise 
with the supposition, that we are 
to think of the Ideas under the 
latter principle. The fact that 
Plato elsewhere (Phaedo, 74 A 
sqq. ; 78 D ; 100 D sq. ; Rep. v. 479 
A sqq.) makes use of the Equal, 
the Double, &c., as examples to 
elucidate the distinction between 
the Idea and the things in which 
the Idea occurs (Kettig, p. 15), 
is irrelevant ; in similar passages 
he makes use of other Ideas (the 
Just, the Beautiful, the Great, 
the Small, &c.) in a similar way ; 
this has nothing to do with the 
present question. Eettig is also 
wrong in saying (p. 10) that the 
Trtpas cannot signify the mathema 
tical Trepaj, for the Trefpas, according 
to 23 E, has different kinds, where 
as quantity alone cannot estab 
lish differences of kind. The lat 
ter statement is signally mistaken : 
the Tracts in numbers is different 
from that in figures, and that in 
tones or movements is diffei ent 
again. Plato says, 23 E, 26 C, 
sq., not that the Infinite and the 
Finite, but that the Infinite and 
the Mixed, are split up and di 
vided in many ways, whereas TO 
-ye Tr^oas oirre TroXXa c?X V i ^ r 
eOv<TKo\a.ii>o/j.e}> u>? OUK fy v <f>vcrfi. 
Iiettig (p. 10), to quote one only 
of the many passages which he 
brings against me, represents the 
well-known place in Aristox. Harm. 
El. 11, 30 Meib. (subter, note IM) 



We shall also find that the Idea of the Good is at 
the same time the highest efficient cause, the infi 
nite Reason ; and Aristotle, as we see from his writings, 

as being on his side, because the 
Tracts here is put in the same 
position as, according to Plato s 
expositions elsewhere, is held by 
Dialectic or the docti-ine of Ideas. 
I cannot, however, see how he 
understands the words : /cai rb 
OTL ayaObv tariv %v. rb 
is evidently adverbial, and 
means finally ; but Kettig seems 
to have considered it to be the 
subject of a sentence which in 
this connection would go tho 
roughly against the sense. I can 
not give up the view which I en 
deavoured to establish in my Plat. 
Stud. 248 sqq., and with which in 
the meanwhile others have agreed 
(e.g. Siebeck, Unters. z. Phil. d. 
Gr. 80 sqq. ; Schneider, d. mat. 
Princ. d. plat. Phil. 14), viz. that 
it is not the irepas but the aiTiov, 
which in the passage before us fills 
the place otherwise occupied by 
the Ideas. If this is described 
as the world-creating intellect, it 
merely shows that to Plato vovs 
and the Idea coincide in the latter 
reference ; and the two positions, 
everything is the work of in 
tellect (VoOs), and everything is 
what it is through the Idea, mean 
the same. This is seen unmis 
takably in the enunciations of 
the Phaedo, noticed above. My 
view at once clears up Schaar- 
schmidt s objection against the Phi- 
lebus (Saminl. d. plat. Schr. 294 
sqq.) that there is no reference in 
it to the Ideas. He objects further 
that a mixture of the Finite and 
the Infinite is impossible, because 
the Tracts would be destroyed by 

the entrance of the airfipov. This 
objection arises from a misunder 
standing: the Philebus says (loc. 
cit.) that the direipov admits of 
the More and Less, &c., the irepas, 
on the contrary, only admits of 
the opposite (cf. on this mean 
ing of 8e xe0"0cu Tim. 52 A). As 
to the assertion that the Finite 
and the Infinite cannot exist to 
gether in things, Plato states 
the exact contrary (supra, p. 206, 
92). Finally, Schaarschmidt (ibid. 
295) would find in the expres 
sion yfros used for the &ireipov t 
&c., not merely a departure from 
Platonic usage, but a proof that 
these are, to the author of the 
dialogue, not world-forming Powers 
but only subjective pictures of 
Thought. He is satisfactorily 
answered by Schneider (loc. cit. p. 
4), who refers to Tim. 48 E sq. ; 
50 C ; 52 A. 

n - The cu rt a, which, p. 26 E 
sqq., is also called the TTOIOVV or 
drjfjuovpyovv, is described p. i>0 A 
sqq., as KOfffj.ovffa re /ecu <TVVTO.T- 
rovaa eviavTovs re /cat wpas /cat 
/ZTjfaj, <ro0t a /cat vovs \eyo/u.evij> 
5t/cat6rar &v. (It has been already 
shown, 28 C sqq.; cf. 22 C, that 
vovs adjusted the world and still 
regulates it.) It is in all things, 
it invests us with the soul, which 
(as Socrates said, Xen. Mem. i. 
4, 8) must have its origin from 
the soul of the universe, just as 
our body from the body of the 
universe, and from it springs all I 
knowledge ; through it the uni- I 
verse itself is endowed with its I 
soul and intellect, 130 D : OVKOVV 



knew of no efficient cause as held by his master above 
and beside Ideas. 113 We cannot doubt that Plato meant 
to set forth in Ideas not merely the archetypes and 
essence of all true Existence, but energetic powers ; 
that he regarded them as living and active, intelligent 
and reasonable. Nor is this view prejudiced by his 
distinguishing, in mythical or popular language, the 
efficient cause from Ideas. 114 This is a necessary 

TTJ TOV Atos epcts (pvcret. 

never mentioned special efficient 
causes in conjunction with the Ideas. 

vovv eyyiyveffdat 5id rty TTJS alrias Cf. p. 76 on this point. 

Sijvafjt.iv , tv 5 AXXots <$XXa Ka\d. 114 Plato, as is well known, 

Cf. subter, note 172. often speaks of the Divinity and 

113 Aristotle frequently objects its activity in the world; he calls 

to the doctrine of Ideas, that it 


wants an efficient principle. E.g. 
Gen. et Corr. ii. 9, 335 b. 7 sqq. : 
generation and decay presuppose 
matter and form, 5e~ 
Kal TT)V Tpirrjv, ty 

God the author of all good and of 
good only (Ixep. ii. 379 A sqq.) ; 
he says that all things, lifeless and 

rr ^^^ living, must have been produced 

trpoaeivai by God, and not by a blind and 

awavres fJ.ev 
ovdels. ctXX 

unconscious power of nature (Soph. 
265 C ; cf. Phileb. 28 sqq.) ; he 

ifj$j)ffa9 airlav flvai extols the care of the Divinity or 
of the gods for mankind, the, 
righteousness of the divine govern 
ment of the world (Phsedo, 62 
B, D ; Rep. x. 612 E sq. ; Laws, x. 
899 D sqq.; iv. 715 E, &c.); he 
says that to imitate God is the 
highest object for mankind (Theset. 
176 15, and further below). Such 
popular expressions, however, can 
not prove much ; his scientific 
conception of the Divinity is the 
really important thing. Is the 
Divinity actually a second cause 
together with the Idea, or merely 
another expression for the causalitv 
of the Idea? The fact of God 
being called the author of the 
Ideas is of little weight, as has 
been shown p. 245. The explana 
tion of the Timacus, which makes 

irpbs r6 ylveffdai TTJV 
wffirfp 6 e 

&c. Metaph. i. 9, 991 a. 
19 sq. (xiii. 5, 1079 b. 23) : the 
ldt,i> cannot be the causes of 
things : rb 6e \fyciv Trapa.8eiyfJ.aTa 
avra clvai Kal /xer^%ei^ avrwv rdXXa 
KfvoXoyelv tcrri Kal /xera^opas 
\tyfiv TronrjTiKas. rl yap etrn TO 
pya6/j.evoi> ?rp6s TCIS i S^as diro- 
p\ewoi>: Jbid. W 2 a. 24 ?qq. ; 
viii. 6, 1045 b. 7; xii. 0, 1()71 
b. 14. It is remarkable that 
Aristotle here takes no notice of 
tli<- explanation of the Timauis 
probably because he attached no 
scientific value to it, owing to its 
mystical character. And his ex 
pressions make it highly probable 
that Plato in his oral discourses 


result of the system : if Ideas are the* only true and 
primary Reality, an equally primary efficient cause 
beside and together with themselves is impossible. 
They are the efficient principle that imparts Being to 
things, and as this Being is of a kind that can only 
be explained by Reason working to an end, Reason 
must be conceded to them. This position was certainly 
open to criticism. It was a difficult problem to con 
ceive classes as self-existent substances ; but it was 
far more difficult to endow these unchangeable en-! 
titles with motion, life, and thought ; to suppose them 
as moved, and yet as invariable and not subject to 
Becoming; 115 as powers, in spite of their absolute 
ness, operating in things. The soul which Plato in the 
Sophist attributes to pure Being, he afterwards places 
midway between the world of Sense and the world of 

the world-creator build up the Plato the Idea of motion is supe- 

nniverse on the pattern of the rior to that of Becoming, and that 

Ideas, is, as we shall find later on, therefore all Becoming is to bo 

so mystical in all its parts that considered i\s a motion, but not I 

no dogmatic conclusions can be every motion as a Becoming. If 

drawn from it. Phsedr. 247 D, Plato in isolated passages (Thcset. 

where 0e6s is merely a god, proves 181 (J sq. ; Parm. 138 B, where 

nothing, and Parm". 134 C sqq. dAXotWts and 0cy>d are separated i 

not much more. as two distinct kinds of ino- 

^ 15 Deuschle has very rightly tion) assumes a concept of mo- 

(Jahn s Jahrbb. B. Ixxi. p. 170 sq.) tion which is not applicable to I 

called attention to a difficulty the Ideas at all, and only im- j 

involved in the question how the properly to the soul, we must be !j 

ideas can partake in Motion content to make allowance for a I 

without partaking in Becoming, mere inaccuracy which might j 

and how the soul can be that easily have been corrected by a 

which is absolutely moved and , more exact determination. The 

at the same time have an eter- actual difficulty, however, of im- 

nal nature. This question, as agining motion without change, is 

Deuschle rightly recognises, is to not removed, 
be answered by the fact that with 


: Ideas. So far, however, as the two points of view 
came into collision, the dynamical aspect must neces 
sarily, with Plato, have been overpowered by the onto- 
logical. His whole philosophy is from the outset 
directed far less to the explanation of Becoming, than 
! to the consideration of Being; the concepts hypos- 
; tasized in the Ideas represent to us primarily that 
which is permanent in the vicissitude of phenomena, 
t not the causes of that vicissitude. If Plato conceives 
them as living powers, this is only a concession forced 
from him by the facts of natural and spiritual life. But 
it is antagonistic to the main current of his system, 
and cannot be harmonized with his other theories re 
specting Ideas. We can easily understand how in his 
ittempt at a comprehensive establishment of his doc 
trine of Ideas, this thought was not excluded. Such 
a determination naturally resulted from the univer 
sal presuppositions of that doctrine ; and we there 
fore find traces of it, as has been shown, in other 
dialogues besides the Sophist. 116 But the difficulties 

116 Schaarschmidt, loc. cit. 204 fundamental determinations of his 

sq., sees in the above-mentioned doctrine of Ideas, viz. that the 

discussion a distinct proof for the Ideas on the one hand do not come 

spuriousness of the Sophist. But into contact with the mutability, 

this is only taking one side of the partiality, and incompleteness of 

case into consideration. It is of sensible Being, while on the other 

course a contradiction to attribute hand they are the only original 

motion, life, &c. to the Ideas, and reality and the only source of 

at the same time (as in the pas- all reality for derivative Being, 

sage mentioned, p. 241 sq.) to ]t is just the same as with the 

assert that they are capable of no theological problem, which has so 

change whatever. But it is a often involved the greatest thinkers 

contradiction, in which Plato must in flagrant contradictions, the 

have become involved as soon as problem how to imagine the Di- 

ever he tried to reconcile the two vinity as at once a "creative hi- 



which it involved were too great to allow of much 
progress in this direction. 117 Although, therefore, the 
necessity of regarding Ideas not only as archetypes, 
but as efficient causes, was constantly obtruding itself 

telligence and an absolute ex 
istence elevated above all incom 
pleteness and mutability. The 
contradiction in the Platonic ^ex- 
pressions is not to be denied, 
but we cannot say how Plato 
should have undertaken to escape 
from the contradiction on his own 
presuppositions. Its occurrence, 
however, does not justify the denial 
of a Platonic origin to a dialogue 
Avhich shows such obvious traces 
of Plato s genius, and which has 
such distinct Aristotelian and even 
(indirectly) Platonic evidence in its 
favour. In Rep. vii. 529 D, Plato 
speaks of the <f>opal els TO ov rdxos 
KO.I i) ofoa (3pa8vTT]s ^perai. It 
would not follow that all other 
Ideas are moved even if the ov 
rct^os were the Idea of swift 
ness ; but it does follow that 
I lato did not think motion in 
compatible with the immutability 
of the ov. He has, moreover (as 
Peipers, Philol. xxix. 4, 711 sq., 
rightly observes), attributed mo 
tion to voDs (Tim. 47 B: 89 A; 
34 A ; 77 B ; Symp. x. 897 C ; 
898 A), though he could not 
have meant either of the mo 
tions described in the preceding 
note, or have considered vous to 
be moved in the sense in which 
things of sense are, in opposi 
tion to the Ideas. What we are 
really to understand by this mo 
tion of vovs he does not tell us. 
A\ r e must, after all, credit Plato 
with the remarkable and unde- 

niably false argument 248 C, 
sq. (if ovffla is known, it 7rcicrx, 
for if knowing is a TroietV, be 
coming known is a Trdo-x""), just 
as much as with many other diffi 
culties in his writings ; e.g. the 
dictum that we cannot imagine 
a /xrj ov (Theset. 189 A ; Rep. i. 
478 B ; Soph. 240 D sq.), or the 
argument Rep. i. 349 ft sqq., 
which turns on the ambiguous 
meaning of TrX^ exetp ; the deri 
vation of the elements Tim. 31 B 
sq., and the like. 

117 In this point seems to lie the 
explanation of the fact that the 
predicates, which Plato lays claim 
to for them, are not attributed to 
the Ideas with such definiteness in 
any other dialogue. This exposi 
tion does not show us the latest 
form of the Platonic doctrine oi 
ideas, as Ueberweg thinks (Un- 
ters. plat. Schr. 275 sq. ; vide p. 
106, 41), but is one from which 
Plato so far subsequently departed 
as not to pursue the road here in 
dicated any further without en 
tirely giving up the movement andjl 
life (the efficient] of theji 
Ideas. In the latest form of the,! 
doctrine of Ideas known to us? 
from the accounts of Aristotle 
this point of view recedes alto 
gether. It has been already 
proved, p. 136 sq., that all evi 
dence from other sources forbids 
our reckoning the Sophist amongst 
Plato s last works. 


him, he could never really carry out this 
< thought ; he preferred to explain the phenomenal 
world by those mythical representations which poorly 
^compensate for the gaps in the scientific develop 
ment. So much the more productive, however, for 
Plato s system is the other determination, that Unity 
and Multiplicity are combined in the Ideas. This 
alone enabled him to set in the place of the abstract 
Eleatic One, the concrete unity of the Socratic con- 
icept ; to join concepts dialectically, and to place them 
in a positive relation to phenomena, where only a 
^negative relation had existed. The Plurality of the 
{phenomenon is sustained and comprehended by the j 
lUnity of the Concept. Only because he ackiiow- I 
Iledges Plurality in the Unity of the Concept has he the 
|;ight to maintain not only One Idea, but a multiplicity 
>f logically co-articulated Ideas a World of Ideas. 

III. The World of Idea*. Plato hardly ever speaks l 
f the Idea, but always of Ideas in the plural. 118 How- 
:ver little he himself would have allowed us to say 
o, 119 the Ideas, arising out of the Socratic concepts, 
re, like them, abstracted from experience. They 
eprosent primarily a particular ; and thought can onlv 
;scend step by step from this particular to the uni- 

18 As Hitter rightly remarks himself speaks of rb eloos not onlv 
Grott. Anz. 1840, 20; St. S. 188); where (e.g. Parm. 131 A; Phrcdo, 
nly it does not follow from this 103 E) he is treating of a definite 
bat in explaining the Platonic Idea, but also where he is treating 
octrine we are not to speak of of the concept of the eI5os gene- 
be Idea to express generally the rally: Polit. 203 B : cf. Symp. 210 
oncept connected with the word B ; Pha>dr. 249 B. 
:Sos or i 5c a, as Aristotle does, e.g. Jlu Cf. on this point p >;)0 8 
letaph. xii. 4, 1079 b. 9. Plato 


versal, from the lower concepts to the higher. But 
the concepts being hypostasized, the particular in them 
cannot be so cancelled in the universal that collective 
concepts shall at last be reduced to one Highest prin 
ciple, or several such, and, according to their whole 
contents, be derived from these principles, as mo 
ments of their logical development. Each concept 
is something absolutely self-subsistent ; and, the re 
ciprocal interdependence of concepts (like the intei 
connection of concepts with phenomena, to be COD 
sidered presently) has only the form of participate 
"and communion. 120 Plato s design does not exten 
to a purely a priori construction ; it only embrace 
a complete logical arrangement of the Ideas whic 
he himself has found by means of induction, or, if we 
prefer the expression, by means of Kecollection, deve 
loping itself in the region of Sense. 121 

Of these Ideas there is an indefinite number. 1 * 
Since every generic and specific concept is, according 
to Plato, something substantial, an Idea, there musl 
be as many Ideas as there are Genera and Species. 12 
And since Ideas alone are the Keal by virtue of whic 
all things are what they are, there can be nothing, am 
there can be imagined nothing, of which there is n 
Idea. Such a thing would be altogether non-existenl 
and that which is absolutely non-existent cannot 1 
conceived. 124 It seems therefore to Plato a culpablf 

i-o Supra, p. 249 sq. Wear ras alrLas trepa rourots 

121 Cf p. 204 sqq. &* ri > v tpM* MfMWj fcc. 

122 Avist. Metaph. i. 9, init. : oi - 3 Supra, p. 237 sq. 
5 TO.S Mas curias ridepcvoi irpjuTov - 4 Supra, p. 225 sq. 




want of philosopliic maturity, that there should be any 
hesitation in assigning Ideas even to the very meanest 
things. 125 He himself reduces to their Ideas not only 
those things which are great and perfect, but also the 
smallest and most worthless : not only natural objects, 
but artistic productions ; not only substances, but mere 
conceptions of quality and relation ; activities and ways 
of life, mathematical figures and grammatical forms. 
He recognises Ideas of hair and of dirt, of the table and 
of the bed, of Greatness and of Smallness, of Likeness 
and Unlikeness, of the Double, &c. ; an Idea of the 
noun, even Ideas of Non-being and of that which is in 
its nature the direct contradictory of the Idea, Evil and 
Vice. 126 In a word, there is absolutely nothing which 

1 - 5 In the well-known passage 
Parm. 130 13 sqq. After Socrates 
has spoken of tlie Ideas of Simi 
larity, the ( )ne, the Many, Bight- 
eousness, Beauty, the Good, Par- 
menides asks him whether he 
supposes a self-subsisting Idea of 
man, or of fire or water, and then 
whether he supposes an idea of 
hairs, dirt, &c. Socrate?, already 
embarrassed by the first of these 
questions, thinks that he must 
answer the second in the negative. 
Parmenides, however, tells him by 
way of advice : vtos yap el tn, & 
2Sw/k pares, /ecu ov TTW trov avrd- 
ATJTTTCU 77 (f)i\oao(j>ia us In dvn- 

ctTuiacms vvv de en irpbs 
5ta TTV 

1 - The proofs, for the most part 
mentioned by Hitter, ii. 302 sqq., 
are to be found in the following 
passages besides those just quoted : 
Tirj. 51 B (the fire /ca0 avrb, 

which is distinct from visible fires; 
the same holds good of the re 
maining elements) ; Rep. x. 596 
A ; 597 C sq. (the Idea of a bed, 
the K\tvrj 6vTb)$ oPera, eKtivr) 5 
Zen K\lvrj, the Idea of a table) ; 
Crat. 389 B (the Idea of a shuttle, 
avro 6 fan. /cfp/ct s) ; Parm. 133 
r, D (the avros 8c(nr6TT]s, d tan 
deairdTrjs aiid the at/r6s 5oC\os o 
fan 5oOXos) ; Phasdo, 65 D (the 
dt /ccuoj , Ka\bv, ayadbv avrb, the 
ova-ia of Health, Greatness, and 
Strength) ; ibid. 100 D sqq. (the 
Beautii ul Ka.6* avrb, Greatness, 
Sniallness, Plurality, Unity, Du 
ality, Ka.6 avrb] ; liep. v. 479 A sq. 
(the Beautiful, the Just, the Double, 
the Great, the Small, the Heavy, 
the Light, Ka6 J avrb. In vii. 529 
D, by the motions of actual swift 
ness and slowness in the actual 
numbers and the actual figures are 
meant, as the context shows, not 
the Ideas, but the intuitions of 
pure mathematics, which, however, 



has not its Idea. Wherever a uniform Character of 
several phenomena can be proved to exist, the sphere 

in this place are not distinguished 
clearly enough from the corre 
sponding Ideas). Phileb. 62 A 
(avTTJs SiKaLOffvvrjs 6 TL ecrrt . . . 
KVK\OV Kal <r<paipas avTijs TTJS 
Betas); Phajdr. 247 D (the 


the eV TCJ 3 %<TTIV dv &VT<J)S eiri- 
ffTfoi, ofcra) ; Crat. 389 D ; 390 F 
(avrb e/cetVo, 6 ttrriv ftvo/ni ... TO 
TO? (pvvet dv 6vo[j,a} ; ibid. 423 E 
(the oixrla of colour and sound) ; 
ibid. 386 D (all things, and con 
sequently all activities, have an 
ovaia jS^Saios) ; Theset. 176 E (ira- 
pa5et.y[JidTUV ev TO; 6Wt effT&Tuv, 
TOV ptv delov euSai/j-oveardTov, 
TOV 5 adeov dflAtwrdroi , cf. the 
jrapaoeiynaTa /3iW, Kep. x. 617 D, 
618 A, which of course taken by 
themselves would prove nothing 
on account of the mythical cha 
racter of this exposition); Soph. 
254 C sqq. (the most general eUdij, 
the Qi>, ffT&<ris, Kivycris, ravrbv and 
edrepov] ; ibid. 258 C (Set 6appovi>Ta 
ijdrj \tyeiv tin rb /*ij 6v pe^aLus 

gffTt TT)V aVTOV 4>VfflV ^%0^ . . . 

ev&pid/Jiov T&V TTo\\uv 8VTUV eWos 
tv ; cf. 254 D : rb w dv . . . cbs 
Zffnv 6vTM M fo} lie P- , v - 47G , 
A : Kal irepi diKaiov KO.L ddiKov /cat 
dyadov /cat KO.KOV Kttl Trdvruv rCiv 
eiduv irepl 6 ai;r6s X670S, ayro ^v 
v eKaaTov clrat, &c. ; cf. ibid. iii. 
402 C : TTplv fa TO. TT?S ffw^poavyris 
el s?; Kal avSpelas, &c. ; /cat rd rofrrwv 
ai5 tvavTia Travraxov 7rept0e/o- 
6fLi>a yvuplo/j.ev ; and Theaet. 186 
A : to those things which the soul 
contemplates without the aid of 
sense, belong the #/xoioi> and the 
ai>6/u.oioi>, the ravrbv and e repov, 
the Ka\bv /cat alcrxpov, the ayaObv 
K al KaK6v. Susemihl (Genet. Entw. 

ii. 197) would make out that not 
merely the Ideas of the bad, but 
also the Ideas of special virtues 
are simply a provisional supposi 
tion, because the latter only be 
long to appearance, and because 
the Ideas of the bad would be 
in direct contradiction to the doc 
trine that God is only the cause of 
the good. But Plato, as we see, 
supposed Ideas of many things 
which belong only to appearance ; 
and if the Ideas of the bad or of 
Non-being entangle us in contra 
diction, such a contradiction does 
not, any more than the other in 
stances objected by Aristotle, jus 
tify us in departing from Plato s 
definite statements where the state 
ments are supported by the conse 
quences of Plato s doctrine. If 
there is an Idea corresponding to 
every concept, this must unavoid 
ably hold good of the concepts of 
badness, Non-being, &c. The Idea 
of Being ought not to give us 
greater offence than any other. 
As Bonitz (plat. Stud. ii. 82) 
rightly remarks, reality as such 
(Being itself) does not belong to 
the essence of things represented 
in the Ideas, though Plato scarcely 
makes this distinction. Accord 
ing to his original supposition, 
there is an Idea corresponding 
to every general concept without 
exception. This Idea is the con 
tent of the concept ; and one of 
the most general concepts is that 
of Being. Again Plato speaks of 
the fj.ovds (Phaido, 101 C), in which 
everything must participate in 
order to be one, although unity is 
given with the concept of the thing 
just as directly as Being. Bonitz 



of Ideas extends. Only where that uniform character 
ceases, and the unity and permanence of the Concept 
fall asunder in the conceptless plurality and absolute 
unrest of Becoming, the Ideal World finds its limit. 127 
Plato seems subsequently to have become somewhat 
confused, as well he might, as to these deductions from 
his theory. According to Aristotle, he assumed no 
Ideas of things artificially made, nor of negation and 
but the original point of view was in 

relation ; 128 

Snds the Idea of Being explicable 
enough, but he does not think it 
was required by the consequences 
of the doctrine of Ideas. Schaar- 
schmidt (Samml. d. plat. Schr. 
202) sees in it something which 
cannot be attributed to Plato, but 
which might just as well be main 
tained of the Ideas of the table, 
bed, /Si os #0eos, unity, &c., and 
would actually be maintained, even 
if they occurred in the Sophist or 
Parmenides instead of the Repub- 
ic, Phnedo, and Theretetus. 

1 - 7 That Plato did suppose such 
a limit, is clear from Phileb. 16 
C sq., not to mention other pas 
sages ; vide p. 200, 92. To this 
soint Hitter, loc. cit., rightly re 
fers Tim. GO D : irepl 5e 5rj TTJV 
TU>I> fj-VKr-qpuv dvva/uiiv etdrj fj.v OVK 

7"6 yap ruif 

ft 5 ovdevl 
rpla TTpoy TO nva 
Distinctions of kinds of smell are 
lere denied, because smell always 
to do with an incomplete 
vnd undetermined Becoming, 
)ecause it belongs, as is said in 
vhat follows, only to a transient 

M Metaph. xii. 3, 1070 a. 13 
>qq. ; in many things, as e.g. in 
irtistic products the form can- 

not exist except in conjunction 
with the matter ; if this is at all 
possible, t is only met with in 
natural products : Sib 5q ov /ca/cws 
6 nXarwi 0?7, 6 rt eidrj Iffrlv 
birtxra (feva-ei (that there are just as 
many Ideas as there are kinds of 
natural products. The fact would 
remain the same even if Plato s 
name did not originally stand in 
the text but was first introduced 
from Alexander, as Rose (Arist. 
libr. ord. 151) conjectures with 
great probability, for in any case 
Plato is meant). Ibid. i. 9, 
991 b. 6 : TroXXd yiyvera 1 . erepa., 
olov olKla Kal SaKTuXios, &i> oO 
(t>a^v eidrj etrat. Ibid. 990 b. 8, 
sqq. : the evidences for the doc 
trine of Ideas are (1) not valid, 
(2) would lead to Ideas of things 
of which we (i.e. the Platonic 
schools Aristotle in his criti 
cism of the doctrines of Ideas 
is unintentionally communicative) 
presuppose no Ideas ; /card re 
yap roi>s \67ovs roi)s K rCiv CTTI- 

U eiat (which was actually 
Plato s original intention, accord 
ing to the above account), Kal Kara 
rb v i 

\6yuv ol u.kv ruv TT/>OS TI 


these cases abandoned. In this way many difficulties 
were evaded, but others arose in their place which 
were not less dangerous to his system. 

Ideas, as we already know, are related to one 
another, not merely as a multiplicity, but more pre 
cisely, as parts of a whole. What holds good of con 
cepts, must also hold good of the entities that are 
thought in concepts. They form a graduated series, 
descending in ordered co-articulation, and a sequence 
of natural subdivisions, from the highest Genera to the 
lowest Species, from the most universal to the most 
particular. 129 In all conceivable ways they cross, com 
bine, exclude, or participate in each other. 130 It is the 
task of science fully to represent this system, to rise 
from the particular to the most universal principles, 
to descend again from these to the particular, to define 
all middle terms that intervene, to ascertain all rela 
tions of concepts. 131 Plato did not aim at a purely dia- 

according to Proclus in Farm, totle mentions (in speaking ot < 

136, Cons, defined the Ideas as Health in itself) the Idea of a mere | 

atria TrapafciyfjiariKri ru>v Kara concept of an attribute, Metaph. j 

(bv<riv ad ffvvcvrurwv. From this. iii. 2, 997 b. 8 : avrb yap av- 

as Proclus remarks, it would dpuirov Qacriv elvai Kal ITTTTOV Kal t 

follow that there are no Ideas of vyieiav (they speak of an avroav- 

tlie products of art or of things epuiros, &c.). 

contrary to nature. A similar 29 Cf. p. 204 sqq., and the quota- 
definition is attributed to Plato in tions from Kep. vi. on pp. 108, 196.^ 
the exposition of Platonic doctrine, ;o Vide p. 248 sq. 
ap. Diog. iii. 77, which is possibly 131 Phileb. 10 C sqq.; Rep. vi. 
throughout inauthentic. This view 511 B ; Soph. 253 B sqq. ; vide pp. j 
is common among the later Pla- 190, 205. 



lectical construction ; lie argues rather from several 
given concepts ; 132 yet he demands that by an exhaus 
tive enumeration and comparison of the sum total of 
collective concepts, a science comprehending the whole 
world of Ideas shall be attained. 

He himself, however, made but a small beginning in 
this direction. 133 He names as examples of universal 
concepts, Being and Non-being, Likeness and Unlike- 
ness, Sameness and Difference, Unity and Number, 
Btraightness and Crookedness. 134 He uses the categories 
of Quality, 135 of Quantity, 136 of Relation; 137 and ac 
cording to Hermodorus, 138 distinguishes among the last 

32 So in the expositions which 
follow the idea of an immanent 
dialectic, Soph. 244 B sqq. ; Parm. 
1-12 P> sqq.; in both the separation 
of the One and the Existent is sup- 
posed, and further inferences are 
drawn from this supposition. 

13:5 Cf. on what follows, Tren- 
delenburg, Hist. Beitriige zur Phil. 
i. 205 sqq. ; Prantl, Gesch. der 
Logik, i. 73 sq. 

J:U Theret. 184 C. The discus- 
sions of the Parmenides, 137 sqq., 
are occupied with similar concepts, 
and a further series sucli as the 
concept of the Whole and the Parts, 
Motion and Rest, Finite and In- 
finite. Cf. my Plat. Stud. IG .L 

1:w Theret. 182 A, where the ex- 
pression Troi jrTjj is brought in 
with an apology as something 
new, Rep. iv. 38 A sqq. (vide 
note G), where a distinction is 
drawn between the TTOLOV TI and 
the ai ro eKaffTov : ( rat. 4:52 A sq., 
between qualitative and quantita- 
tive determinations (of number), 
Phileb. :>7 C ; Soph. 202 K. 

36 Soph. 245 D: every &W is 

a iroaou. Phil. 24 C sq. : the 
More and Less, the <T<p5dpa and 
rjp^a., make the irotrbv (determined 
magnitude) impossible. 

137 Soph. 255 C : T&V &VTUV TCL 
/> aura xad aura, TO. 8e Trpdy 
&\\r)\a. del \?ye<rdai . . . rd 
5 Zrepov del TT/W erepov, &c. Rep. 
iv. 4 JS A: 6Va 7 ccrrl Toiavra olcc 
elvai TOU, TO. fj.ei> iroid &TTO. TTOLOU 
TWOS e<TTii>, TCL 8 aura e/caora 
avrov eKacrrov ^vov. Science e.g. 
proceeds on knowledge simply, 
definite science (?rotd rts einffT-fjfj.-rj ) 
on definite knowledge. Parrn. 133 
C, and the quotation from Her- 
modorus, p. 241, 47. 

M In the passage apud Simpl. 
Piiys. 54 b., just mentioned, 
after the words quoted pp. 214, 47 
Hcrmodorus goes on to say : of that 
which is irpbs erepz, the one is wy 
irpbs evavrLa, the other ws ?rpjj T i 
/cat TOVTWV TO. p^v wj w/Hoyx& a, rd. 
8 wy d6ptcrra. This latter dis- 
tinction he explains in the words 
(which I quote at length, because 
I shall have to return to them 
later on): /ecu TO ^ev 



Trpbs fJiLKpov \ey6f. .eva irdvra 
(sc. \eyeL IlAdrwi ) TO /uaXXov Kal 
rb r}rrov. fore yap / uXXoj elVcu 
fJitifrv Kal \a.rrov els aireipov (pepo- 
/j.fva. (jL-oavrus S /cat ir~harvrepov 
Kal crevorepov [crrevdr.!, Kal (3a6v- 
repov [/3a/H>r.] Kal Kov^irepov, /cat 
Trdvra TO. OI TW "Xeyo/meva els aireipov. 
TCI cJ s rb LVOV Kal rb /j.effov Kal 
rip^oafj-evov \eybp.eva OVK ^ iv 70 
/j.a\\oi> Kal rb ifjrrov, ra 5^ evavria. 
TOVTUV ^x LV - t ffrl V&P A SXXov 
&VIGCV avicrov Kal Ki.voviJ.evov KIVOV- 
fj-tvov Kal dfdpfJ.oa TOV dvapfj.6arov. 
ticre a^orepuv avruv [avrCiv 
should eitlior be excised or altered 
into rotrwv} r&v <rviryiv trdvra 
[perhaps Karc\ irdvrd], TT\T]V rov 
evbs aroix^ov rb na\\ov Kal r]rrov 
dedeyfjifvov [-wv], acrraKrov [aara- 
rov~\ Kal aireipov Kal &fj.op(pov Kal OVK 
&t> rb roiovrov \tyea6ai Kara airo- 
(paciv rov ovros. rep roLOvrig 8f ov 
irpco"fiKeiv ofire apxys otire ovcrias, 
clXX eV aKpicria nvi (^^peadai. The 
last position (as that just quoted, 

several kinds. The distinction of the Absolute and 
Relative forms the logical groundwork of his whole 
system; for the Idea exists in and for itself; the 
Phenomenon, and to the fullest extent, Matter, only 
in relation to something else. 139 He further affirms 
that in all Reality, Unity and Multiplicity, Limit 
and Unlimitedness, Identity and Difference, Being and 
Non-being are combined. 140 He determines the con 
cept of Being by the two characteristics of doing and 
suffering. 141 He instances in the Sophist, 142 Being, Rest, 
and Motion (to which Sameness and Difference are after 
wards added), as the most important generic concepts ; 
and, at the same time, determines which of these are 
compatible with, and which exclude, each other. He 

from Dercyllides) is again given 
with unimportant variations, p. 56 
1). : wore acrrarov Kal ajj.op(f>ov Kal 
aireipov Kal OUK ov rb roiovro \e~ye- 
a6ai, Kara a.irb<pa<nv rov OVTOS. rip 
roiovry 8 ov Trpoo-riKei oi?re ctp%-l]S 
ctjre oiffias, ctXX iv diKpacia (for \ 
which dKpiaia is the better reading) I 
rivl (frepeadai. Of the distinctions 
here made, that of the trpbs erepa 
into the Trpbs evavria and the ?rp6s 
rt, is not found in the Platonic writ 
ings, though this need not be any 
reason for mistrusting the state 
ment of Hermodorus ; on the other 
hand, the opposition of wpicr/xeVa ! 
and doptara together with a more ; 
detailed description of the latter 
is met with again lower down. 

189 Cf. p. 241, 47, and the quota 
tions to be made later on as to the 
phenomenal world and matter. 

140 Vide p. 204 sq.; 249 sq. 

141 Vide p. 262, 109. 

ltf 254 C sqq.: cf. supra, 249 


discriminates in the Republic 143 between the knowing 
subject and the thing known, Knowledge and Reality, 
Science and Being. But though in these and simi 
lar definitions 144 the germs of the Aristotelian theory 
of Categories are clearly discernible, yet in none of 
the specified places does Plato attempt a complete 
catalogue of the highest concepts or an arrangement of 
them according to their internal relation. This want 
would have been ill supplied by the numerical system, 
which, when the fusion of Ideas with the Pythagorean 
numbers had begun, he subsequently attempted by 
deriving numbers from Unity and indefinite Duality, 145 
even had this derivation been more fully accom 
plished than was actually the case. 146 

In designating the point in which the graduated 
series of Being terminates, Plato is more explicit. 
The highest of all Ideas is the Idea of the Good. ^ As 
in the visible world, the sun brings forth simulta 
neously knowledge and life, as he enlightens the eye 

14;; Vi. 508 E sqq. ; vide p. 269, objection (Metaph. xiv. 4, beginn.) 

110. against the supporters of the Ideal 

144 E.g- Tim. 37 A, where Pint, numbers, viz. that they do not 

(Procr. an. 23, 3, p. 1023) sees the derive the first odd number, seems 

first sketch of the ten categories. to refer, as Bonitz ad loc. supposes, 

45 Arist. Metaph. xiii. 7, 1081 simply to the fact that they did 

a. 14, 21 b. 17 sqq. ; 31, 1082 a. not account for the origin of the 

13 b. 30 ; xiv. 3, 1091 a. 4, 1, 9, first odd number, the unit, whereas 

990 b. 19 : cf. my Plat. Stud. 220, (ace. to the passage before us and 

sqq. 242. We shall have to speak xiii. 7, 1081 a. 21) they did try to 

of the d.6pi<rTos oi as in treating of derive the first duality. And as 

the doctrine of matter. the unit is the root of all odd 

4(5 According to Arist. ibid, xii numbers, what holds good of it 
S, 1(173 a. 18 ; xiii. 8, 1084 a. 12 ; holds good indirectly of the odd 
Phys. iii. 6, 206 b. 32, it is in any generally. According to Metapli. 
case limited to the first ten num- xiii. 7, the Platonic school re- 
bers, and perhaps did not go so garded other odd numbers, for in- 
far, for Aristotle does not express stance, three, as derived, 
himself quite clearly. Aristotle s 



and reveals things seen, while everywhere causing 
growth and increase; so in the super-sensuous world, 
the Good is the source of Being and of Science, of 
Truth and of Knowledge : and as the sun is higher 
than light and the eye, so is the Good higher than 
Being and Science. 147 But this definition has its diffi 
culties. In the whole treatment of the question in 
the Philebus, we can only understand by the Good 
the goal of human activity, that which is the highest 
Good for men. 148 As there is an express reference 
to this dialogue in the passage above quoted from the 
Republic, 149 it might seem as if here, too, the Idea of 

147 Hep. vi. 508 E, after the 
digression about the sun : rovro 
roiwv TO rr)v dXrideiav (real exist 
ence, actuality) irdpexov TOIS yiy- 

VUCTKOfJieVOlS, Kal T$ yiyvdxTKOVTl. 

TT]v 8vva/jLiv aTTodidov rrjv rov 
dyaOov ibeav (pddi. elvai alrlav 8 
ovvav Kal d\-r)6eias, cJs 
*.ev diavoov, 

re Kal d\r)6eia$, &\\o Kal Ka\\iov 
en rovruv 7)yov/J.evos avro opflus 
Kal d\r)- 
re /ecu 6\f/iv 
i]\iOidrj fj.ev voyeur dpdbv, r)\LOV 
de riyeiadaL OVK dpdws #x et ? ^ rw 
/cat ivravda. dyadoeidrj JJL& vo/mi^etv 
TO.VT dyw06re/3a 6p6bv, dyadbv o 
yyeTorOai biroTepov atiruv OVK opdbv. 

d\\ %Tl Het.$bv<j)5 TlfJ.T)TOV TT]V TOV 

dyaOov e^iv . . . . Kal ro?s 717^0;- 
ffKO/Jifvots Toivvv JJ.T] fj.bvov rb 717- 
v&ffK.ffdai <f>dvcu t TTO rov dyaOov 
Trapeiva.1, dXXa /cat TO eti at re Kal 
T7]i> ovcriay I)TT eKeivov avTols trpocr- 
etVat, OVK ovcrias ovros rov dyadov, 
dXX en fireKeiva. Tr}5 oucrt as irpeff- 
]3eia Aai dvvd/Jiei virepcxovros. 
148 At the very beginning the 

question is so put that the one 
side asserts : dyaQbv elvai. rb 
XalpeLv TraVt fyots /cat rrjv Tjdovrjv 
&C. ; the other TO (ppovelv /cat TO 
voelv Kal TO fjie^vTiffdai &c. TTJS ye 
i)doi>T)s d/^etVw /cat Xyw yiyvetrdai. 
^v/J-Tracriv . . . &(pc\i/JUi)TaTov dirdv- 
rwv elvai Tra<ri. So the object is- 
(p. 11 1)) e^LV ^i X^s dirotyaivew 
Ttva TTJV ^vvap.evi]v dvOp&irois Tracrt 
TOV /3to^ evSaifJiova Trapexeiv : the 
one considers ydovrj as this e^ty, 
the other, <f)p6vtjcri.s. So again 14 
B, 19 C (Tt T&V dvdptJTrivuv Krtj- 
pdruv apicrrov} ; 20 B sqq. ; cf. 27 
D, where a life combining wisdom 
and pleasure is pronounced to be 
the Good; GO A sqq., where the 
elements of the perfect life (the 
KTTJfj.a Trp&rov, Sevrepov &c.) are j 
enumerated. Subsequently the : 
original question is enlarged into 
(G4 A) the general one : ri irore , 
%v re dvdpwTTU) Kal T^J iravrl treffrvKev 
dyadbv ; 

149 After Socrates has observed 
that the Idea of the Good is the 
highest object of knowledge, ha 
continues with unmistakable re- 



I the Good were set forth only as the goal of an activity 
(which in this case could not be merely human ac 
tivity) as the ultimate end of the world, or typical 
concept to which the divine intelligence looked, and 
by which it was guided in the framing of the world. 150 
According to this view, the Idea of the Good might 
still be held as something real and substantial, 151 but 
it could not be an efficient cause ; and it must be dis 
tinguished in such a manner from the Deity that either 
tlic Idea must be related to the Deity or the Deity to 
the Idea, as the conditioning to the conditioned. The 
former, supposing the Idea of the Good to be the genus 
under which the Deity is contained ; 152 the latter if 
it expressed a work or a thought of God, 153 or even an 
inherent determination of His essence. 154 But Plato s 

fercncc to the Philebus, 505 15: 
dXXa fj.Tji> KO.1 r6de ye olcrOa, on 


TO ayaObv, ro?s de KO/j. fioTepois (pp6- 
vt]ffL<; ; and then, after a short 
refutation of both views. 5<n; 
15, tlic question with which the 
above-mentioned exposition was 
introduced, is wound up thus : 
dXXd ffv 5rj, & 2w/i parfS, irbrepov 
fTTicrTrjfj. rjv TO ayaBbv <f)rjs elvai, ?} 
rioovf]v, -J) &\\o TI irapa ravra ; 
in the middle of this statement 

jthe remark again occurs, 50 . A: 

Socrates does not consider pleasure 

i to be the Good. 

150 Van Jlcusde, Init. Phil. Plat, 
ii. ;!, S8 sqq. ; Hermann, Ind. lect. 
Marl. 182 1 (printed in .Tahn s 
and Seebode s Archiv, i. G 2 2 sq.); 
Yindicue Disput. de Idea boni, 
Marb. 1839 (A. u. d. T. Vindicifo 
Clatonicae, Marb. 1840) ; Stall- 

; baum in Phileb. Proleg,<r. (ls_ (i, 
xxxiv. Ixxxix. ; Plat. Tim. 40 

sqq. ; Plat. Parm. 272 : Trendelen- 
burg, De Philebi C 1 onsilio (1837), 
17 sq. ; Wehrmann, Plato de s. 
bono doctr. 70 sq. Martin, Etudes 
sur le Timee, i. 9 sqq. speaks less 
definitely for the separation of the 
Divinity from the Idea of the Good ; 
he supposes that Plato sometimes 
identified the two, as, for instance. 
in the Ixepublic. 

K>1 As Hermann and Trendelen- 

1; - So Trendelenburg, loc. cit. 
with reference to Tim.ous, .">(> A. 

133 Orges, Comparat. Plat, et 
Arist. libr. de rep. (Berl. 1st,] . 
23 sqq.: the Idea of the Good is 
the power and completeness of 
(Jod displaying itself in things; 
Kbbcn, Plat, idear. doctr. (Bonn, 
1849), p. 05, says it is an attri 
bute of God viz. that which dis 
plays itself in the limitation of 
the unlimited. 

154 This supposition is fre- 



own declarations forbid the assumption. If it is the 
Idea of the Good which imparts to things their Being, 
to intelligence its capacity for knowledge, if it is 
called the cause of all truth and beauty, the parent 
of light, the source of reality and i-eason, 155 it is not 
merely the end but the ground of all Being, efficient 
force, cause absolute. 156 Plato cannot have contem 
plated another and a separate efficient cause ; or in this 
place, where he is specifying the ultimate ground of 
all things, and the supreme object of knowledge, 157 it 
must necessarily have been mentioned. 158 He saya 
clearly in the Philebus that the Divine Reason is none] 
other than the Good ; 159 and in the Thnaeus, he so speaks 

quently found with regard to the 
Ideas generally ; vide p. 266 sq. 

n5 - 5 Rep. loc. cit. and vii. 517 B: 
rot 5 ovv e/mol (paLvofteva ovrw 
(baiverai, ev ruj yvwo~ru3 re\VTaia r\ 
roO dyaOov Idea Kal /j.6yis bpdadai, 
6(f)OeLffa 5 <r\>\\oyi(rrea elvai us 
apa Tracri irdvruv avrr/ bpdCjv re 
Kal Ka\&v atria, ev re opary </>ws 
Kal rbv TOVTOV Kvpiov re/coucra, ev 
re vof]r<^ avrri Kvpia d\7]6etav Kal 

ravrbv idelv rbv fj.e\\ovra e / u0poJ WS 
n-pd^eiv TI tola T) dri^oaia. 

15(5 As the Ideas are generally, 
vide p. 263 sqq. 

157 The [AeyLcrTov /nddr//j.a as it 
is called, vi. 505 A. 

158 It has been already re 
marked, p. 255* sq., that he has 
mentioned no such causes in any 
scientific connection w r ith the Ideas. 

ir 9 22 C. Socrates has proved 
that pleasure could not be the 
good ; but again knowledge with 
out pleasure is not sufficient ; and 
then he goes on : cij / roivvv 

voelaOaL ravrbv Kal rdyadbv, i/ca- 
ycDs elprjcrdai /mot doKei. 6i;o yap, 
Philebus replies, 6 aos vovs, w 
Sw/cparfy, evri rdyadbv, dXX ei~ei 
ravrd ey/cXT^uara. Tax ^ ^ s tb. 
answer, cD 4>i X77/3e, 6 ye euos oft 
fj.evrot rov ye d\r/6ivbv aua Kal 
6eiov ot/ vovv dXX a\\<jis TTWI 
Zxet-v. Hermann, A indic. 18, mis-j 
takes the meaning of this passaga 
in saying that the answer applies 
only to the last words of Philebus, 
the comparison of intellect wit 
pleasure. Neither of them is il 
self the Good, and only in th 
sense could Socrates admit th 
assertion of Philebus of the hi 
man intellect. Its further exter 
sion he could not allow becaus 
(as he has hinted 11 D, and fo 
lov.ed out in detail, 28 A sqq.) i 
men the intellect is more nearl 
related to the Good than pleasure 
consequently what he dei 
the divine intellect is that it i 
separate from the Good. No 
again can we say with Wehrmar 

rr,v ye *tXiJj8ou 6ebv ov Set 5ta- (p. 80) that God is here describe 

77//; GOOD. 


of the Creator, that in order to get a consistent mean 
ing we must abandon the notion of His being separate 
from the Ideas, from which He is said to have copied 
the universe. 160 This hypothesis seems indeed to be 
required by the whole inter-connection of the Platonic 
doctrine. For in whatever way we may conceive the 
relation of God to a world of Ideas distinct from Him 
self, we are everywhere met by insuperable obstacles. 
A iv we to suppose the Ideas to be thoughts or crea 
tions of God ? or are they to be immanent determina 
tions of His Essence? The one theory would im 
peril their eternity and self-dependence ; the other, 
their absolute existence ; 161 and both would make the 
Idea of the Good, which, according to Plato, is the 
Highest of the Thinkable, something derived. Not this 

jis the Good or the principle of 
all Good ; but that the Good is not 
described as divinity or intellect, 
the Good is only one side of the 
divine being. if this were so, 
the Good could not, at the same 
time, be a self-subsisting Idea, 
as it must be according to the 
Republic ; Plato, however, not 
merely says that tlie divine in 
tellect is the Good, but that it is 
TO.VTOV KO.L Ta.ya.6ov. 

160 E.g. Hep.vii. (vide note 155), 
the Idea of the Good is described 
as the summit of the supra-sen 
suous world and the cause of all 
things, which is only perceived 
with difficulty. So Tim. 28 (" 1 , 
the Divinity as the aiVioj/ is thus 
spoken of: rbv ^v ovv iroi^Triv 
Kal Trare pa rov5e TOV TTO.VTOS fvpeiv 
re tpyov Kal fvpbvTa. et s TTOLVTO.^ 
tiSiWroi/ \{ycii> , and Tim. 37 A 
it is called TUV voriruv da re OVTUV 

dpurrov (the words are to be thus 
connected, vide Stallbaum) ; and 
there is just as little mention of 
the Divinity there as there is of 
the Good here. Further, whereas 
according to Tim. 28 A, C, the 
Creator of the world looks to the 
archetype in order to make the 
world like it, he himself appears 
as this archetype 29 F, 92 JJ 
(where the world is called dK&v 
TOV vorjTov [sc. 6eov] Oeos a.ladr]T6^. 
The same statements are made 
with regard both to the Divinity 
and the Idea, and both change 
places. When finally, 37 C, the 
world is called TUV ai diuv 6euv 
&ya\/jLa by the eternal gods as 
distinguished from the gods that 
become, we can only understand 
the Ideas ; and then the dei &v 6fbs 
(Tim. 34 A) becomes identical with 
the highest Idea. 

:61 Cf. p. 240 sq. on this point. 


Idea, but the Deity to whom it belonged or by whom 
it was engendered, would be the First and Highest. 

^But neither a thought nor an attribute, nor a creature 
of God, could be called by Plato an Idea; since no 
thought is possible except through an intuition of the 
Idea : no creation except by the imitation of the Idea ; 
no quality or attribute .except through participation in 
the Idea. 162 Are we then on the contrary to suppose God 
to be a product of Ideas ; an individual that partici 
pates in the Idea of the Good ? In that case He would 
not be the Absolute Eternal God, but only one of the 
created gods. He would stand to Ideas in the same 
relation that the spirits of the stars and the souls of 
men stand to them. Or, lastly, are we to assume 1G 
that He exists side by side with the Ideas as a special, j 
independent principle ? that He neither brought them 
forth, nor was brought forth by them, and that His. 
activity essentially consists in working out the combina 
tion of Ideas with Phenomena, in forming the world 

\according to Ideas ? In favour of this view it may be 
urged, not only that Plato so expresses himself in the* 
Timanis, but that there are important reasons for such 
a theory in his system. Though he himself would not I 
have admitted it, his Ideas are undeniably wanting in j 
the moving principle that impels them to the Pheno 
menon. 164 This want appears to be supplied by the 
concept of Deity ; indeed in the Timaaus the World- 
framer is only required, because there would otherwise 
be no efficient cause. So far, we might hope by this 

1(? - Cf. p. 242 sqq. 1<i4 Cf. p. 2G8 sq. Further 

163 wi^ Hermann, details below. 

Till ] GOOD. -285 

virw to avoid essential difficulties. But we shall 
only have prepared for ourselves others near at hand. 
Could Plato really have placed his highest principles 
so dualistically in juxtaposition, without attempting to 
combine them ? If Ideas alone are true Reality, can 
another essence side by side with them, distinct from 
them, and equally original, find a place? Must it 
not rather hold good of the Deity (as of all things 
except the Idea) that He is what He is, only through 
participation in the Idea? which is in no way com 
patible with the concept of God. All things con 
sidered, we may say that the Unity of the Platonic 
system can only be established on the supposition that 
Plato in his own belief never really separated the 
efficient from the logical cause, the Deity from the 
highest Idea, that of the Good. But it lias been 
already shown 165 that he identifies them, that he 
attributes efficient power and designing reason, some- 
tin if* to Ideas in general, sometimes to the highest 
Idea in particular. This is confirmed by the state 
ment that in the oral discourses of his later life 
the supreme Unity is designated as the Good; 100 

>^t, p. -<_ bij., *oo sij. irapaoo^ov TL etpaivcTO avTois 

* Aristox. Harm. Klem. 11, Arist. Mctaph. xiv. 4, 1091 b. 13 - 

begmn. p. 30, ^Meib. : ^ nadd-rep ruv te rcis aKurffrovs oucn as efrai 

ApiaTOTfXys ^ del OL-qyeiTO, TOVS \ybi>Tuv oi ptv <pa<?Li> avTb TO eV 

TrXaVroi s TUV aKovadvTwv trapa rb dyadbv avTb dvat, which the 

uXdruvosT^vTeplTd.ya0ovaKp6afftv 1 seudo- Alexander ad Ice. refers 

Traddv Trpoffitvai ^kv yap tKaffTov to Plato. Ibid. i. G, end. Plato 

Oro\anpdvovra \Wtadal TI ruv considered the one as the basis of 

romfrntvuv dvepwirlvwv a.ya6uv Good, matter as the basis of evil 

ore 5<^ Qavdrjffa* oi \6yoi irepl with which we may connect the 

Ha.6riiJ.dTwv /cat dptdfj.u)i> Kal yeu- words of c. 4, p. <J85 a. !) TO 

" as Kal affrpoXoytas, Kal Tb TV dyaOdv airdvTwv atrio* avTo 

, on ayaOov eori v, iravTfXus, rayaOfo CJTI. TJicojihrasttis also 


for this supreme Unity must have been identical 
with God. It is mentioned, too, as a departure of 
Speusippus from the doctrine of his Master, that he 
distinguished the Divine Reason from the One and 
the Good. 167 The same view is presupposed by Aris 
totle when he says that Plato recognised only two 
kinds of causes, the formal or conceptual, and the 
material cause : 168 and on this he grounds his complaint 
that Plato omits to state who forms things according to 
Ideas. 169 To us it may certainly sound incomprehen 
sible that a theological concept like the concept of the 
Good, should not merely be generally hypostasized, but 
positively declared to be the highest active energy and 
reason. We are accustomed to conceive of Reason 
only in the form of personality, which it would seem 
impossible to attribute to an idea. But it may be 
questioned whether all this appeared so inconceivable 
to Plato, as it appears to us, with our altered modes 
of thoughty The mind that could allow relative de 
terminations, the Same, the Great, the Small, &c., 
to precede as ideal entities the things in which we 
perceive them, could also make an aim into a self- 
recognises the identity of the Good cure, &c. Krische, Forsch. i.25(3, 
and the Divinity in Plato, in rightly points out that Speusippus 
saying of him apud Simpl. Phys. must have opposed himself 
6 "b. m. (Fragm. 48 Wunm) : 860 modes of thought whicb he h 
ras apxas povXerai 7roie?v, TO /J.ti> found previously in Plato, anc 
{j-jroKfi/j-evov cos v\r)i>, 6 irpoaayopevei which put vous on a level with the 
iravdexts, TO 8 us OITIOV Kal KLVOVV, One and the Good. 
6 Tre/ndTTTct Trj TOV 0ov /cat TTJ lti8 Metaph. i. 6, 988 a. 8 : 
rd.ya.0ov twdpei. <f>avepov 5 e /c rStv elpwtvwv JTI 

107 Stobfeus. Ekl. i. 58 : STTCI;- ovolv aiTiaiv ^ovov K^X/^TCU, rrj re<i(j>riva.TO~\ TOV vovv, TOV T L f<7Ti Kal Trj /caret TTJV i!>\rjv. 

tTTTros [fledy a.Tre<pr]i>aTo] TOV vovv, TOV r fan Ka Tr KO.TO. 
Tf ry evl otiTe T$ 0,70.6$ rbv Theophr. preceding note. 
vTov, Idiocy oe. In the words lti9 Vide p. 76, 70, sq. 

THE GOOD. 287 

subsistent Reality, and the absolute aim and end, or 
tin- Good, into absolute Cause and absolute Being. 170 
That step once taken, it is not surprising that the 
Good, like all the other Ideas in their own spheres, 
should have been invested with further qualities such 
as Power, Activity and Reason, without which it could 
not be that infinite essential nature at all. But what 
relation it then bears to personality, is a question 
which Plato probably never definitely proposed to 
himself. The ancients were generally wanting in 
the distinct concept of personality, and Reason was 
not seldom apprehended as universal world-intellect, 
hovering uncertainly between personal existence and 
impersonal. 171 Plato says indeed that Reason can be im 
parted to no essence without a soul, and he accordingly 
makes reason inherent even in the Cosmos by means 
of the soul. 172 But in the first place, we cannot con- 

That tins must lead to many world? The answer, however, 

disadvantages is shown in the can only be the same which we 

case before us. We have thus to have had to the more general 

explain, e.g. the mixture above question as to the causality of the 

remarked (p. 280 sq.), of the Ideas: viz. that here we have an 

highest Good with the metaphysi- instance of the inadequacy of the 

cal concept of the absolute. The system, which Plato himself in- 

ooncept of the Good is abstracted directly acknowledged by the 

from human life ; it signifies that silence in which he passes by the 

which is advantageous to mankind critical points. 

(as it did _to Socrates). Plato 171 Vide the remarks in vol. i. 

then generalises it into die concept p. 808, and subsequent obser- 

af the absolute, but its original vations on Aristotle s concept of 

meaning is continually playing God. 

into it: hence the confusion; 17 - Tim. 30 B : Xoyto-d/xej/os ow 

! neither the ethical nor the mcta- eupicr/cei/ [6 6eos] K ruv Kara 0tW 

i physical ^concept of the Good is 6pa.Tui> ovdtv avb-^rov rov vow 

xttained in its simplicity. Further *x"s o\oi> 6 \oi/ /cciAW &re<r0cu 

lifficulties arise (cf. Brandis, ii. Trore tpyo-;, vow 5 a& X upu tvxw 

i. ::_ 7 sq.) when we ask how the d8ut>a.TOJ>7rapayev{<r0atTy 5ih8bToi> 

Idea of the Good is the cause of Aoytcr/xoV rovde vow ^ fr \Lv\f, 

ill other Ideas of the sensible fvtfiv fc & ^aan f mrrij rbv&i 



elude from this that the Divine Keason in itself exists 
as a soul ; for however inseparably they may be bound 
together, the World-soul is always a principle distinct 
from and subordinate to Beason, which only com 
bines with it, because in no other way could Reason 
impart itself to the world ; 173 and in the next place, a 
personality in the specific sense can scarcely be ascribed 
to the World-soul. Still less can we derive such a j 
principle from the logical application of the Platonic ;. 
hypotheses about God. If an original existence belong 
alone to the Universal, God, as the most original, must " 
also be the most universal ; 174 if separate individuals 

s D. In the light of this 

passage we must explain Phileb. 
30 C : croc/>ia /JL^V /ecu vovs avev 
"&VXTJS VK av Trore yfvoiffdr}v. Ov 
yap ovv. QVKOVV ev fj.ev rrj rov 
Ai os, &c. Vide p. 266, 112. The 
question here is not as to intellect 
in its supramundane existence, 
but intellect in so far as it is_ im 
manent in (he universe (or as it is 
mythically expressed, in the nature 
of Zeus) ; the supramundane in 
tellect is, however, separated from 
that which dwells in the world, 
when it is said that Zeus possesses 
a kingly soul and a kingly under 
standing 5id rrjv rfc curias dvvatJ.iv. 
Deity, "in the absolute sense, can 
not have its reason imparted to it 
by some extraneous cause. The 
same holds good of Tim. 37 C ; 
reason and knowledge are only in 
the soul, and 46 D : ruv yap &VTWV 

Here also the 
question asked is not whether 
i/ovs as such can be imagined 
without soul, but whether it can 
be immanent in anything other 

than the soul, and the only thing 
denied is that reason can belong 
to the corporeal. 

173 Tim. 35 A sqq. Plato cer 
tainly explains himself otherwise, 
Soph. 248 E sq. (vide p. 262, 107) ; 
this expression, however, is not to 
be identified with the confused 
theories of the Timseus ; it is 
merely an inaccuracy which was 
subsequently corrected by Plato 

174 Stumpf, Verb. d. Plat. Gott. 
z. Idee d. Gut. 94, raises the ob 
jection that, as the Ideas are hy- 
postasized and therefore separate 
from things and from one another, 
the Idea of the Good must be the 
most individual, and the Platonic 
God must be absolutely transcend 
ent and individual. I3ut substan 
tiality and individuality are not 
identical to Plato, though they 
are to Aristotle. It is Aristotle s 
well-grounded and repeated ob 
jection against the theory of Ideas 
that the Ideas ought to^ be the 
universal to the individuals, 
the genera, whereas they cannot 

THE GOOD. 289 

are what they are only by participation in a higher, 
that essence which has no higher above it cannot be a 
separate individual : if the soul is contra-distinguished 
from the Idea by its relation to the material world (by 
the share which the Unlimited has in it), a soul cannot 
be attributed to the Idea as such, nor consequently to 
God, who is identical with the highest Idea. Plato 
has nowhere expressly drawn out these consequences, 
but, on the other hand, he has done nothing to guard 
f against them. He often speaks of God as a person ; 

and we have no right to see in this only a conscious 

1 adaptation of his language to the popular religious 
I notions. Such a mode of representation was, as before 

remarked, indispensable to him (on account of the 
immobility of Ideas) in order to explain phenomena ; 
and all that he says concerning the perfection of 
God, divine Providence, and the care of the Gods for 
men, 175 gives the impression, not that he is deliberately 
translating philosophic ideas into a language grown 
strange to him, but rather that he himself shares the 
religious belief, and holds it in the main to be well 
founded. Yet he never tries to reconcile these religious 
notions more definitely with his scientific conceptions, 
or to demonstrate their mutual compatibility. We can 
therefore only conclude that he was unconscious of the 
problem. 176 In his scientific enquiry into the highest 

be so as x^p^rai. It has already qtiently the most universal 
been shown, p. 237 sq., that the 5 Vide p. 267, 114. 

Platonic Ideas are the hypostasized 176 This Ribbing, Plat Ideenl 

concepts of genus. But the highest i. 370 sqq., candidly admits, though 

Idea as such must be necessarily he will not allow that the Ideas 

highest genus, and conse- are the universal, and that therefore 


causes he confined himself to the Ideas, and when, as in 
the Timseus, he found it necessary to introduce the 
Deity side by side with them, he does so without proof 
or accurate definition, but merely as a presupposition of 
faith. 177 For his personal needs, 178 and for practical 
application, he held to the belief in Gods, purifying it 
indeed in the spirit of his philosophy, 179 but not in 
vestigating very narrowly its relation to the doctrine of 
Ideas ; contenting himself with the thought that both 
asserted the same truth; that the Ideas were truly 
divine, and that the highest Idea coincided with the 
highest Deity. 180 The difficulties besetting the com- 

the predication of personality 
would contradict their concept. 
Whether this supposition is 
honourable to the philosopher 
(as Stumpf, loc. cit., maintains 
against me) or not, is not the 
question which the historical en 
quirer has to put ; we have simply 
to discover what can he proved, 
or at least made probable. It is 
certainly not improbable that even 
Plato was unconscious of a problem 
which remained a secret to all 
antiquity up to the time of Plo- 
tinus, and that he overlooked the 
difficulty in which the theory of 
Ideas involved him just as much 
as many others which lay nearer 
to hand. 

177 Tim. 28 A sqq. it is proved 
that the world must have a cause, 
for, as being corporeal, it came into 
existence, ry 5 av yevopfva) (pa/JL^v 
I/TT alriov rivbs dvdyKyv dva.1 
yfvtffOai. It is not, however, 
shown further that this ai riov is 
reducible to a Trot^rrjs, irar^p, 5y- 
piovpyos ; we have here dogmatic 
beliefs and scientific ideas set 

simply down side by side. 

178 This is unmistakably the. 
real point, and so far I agree with 
Deuschle s remark (Plato, Mythen, 
16 sq.) that to Plato s mind the 
personal God had a meaning be 
yond a mere mythical personifi 
cation. This, however, holds good, 
not only of a God, but also of the 

179 On this point more exact 
details will be given later on. 

180 But does not this make 
Plato a pantheist? Even if this 
were so, it would be no great 
misfortune, and still less a valid 
objection against the result of an 
historical enquiry. This, however, 
is not the question here, and the 
title which Rettig bas given to? 
his treatise, AiY/ct in the Philebus 
the personal Divinity of Plato or 
Plato no pantheist, implies a very 
vague conception of pantheism. 
If Plato had repudiated the per 
sonality of the divinity, he would 
still not be a pantheist. In his 
latest principles he has neither 
removed the dualism of the Idea 

THE GOOD. 291 

parison of things so essentially different seem to have 
been overlooked by Plato, as by many another philo 
sopher before and since his time. 181 

In thus determining the highest Being as the (Jood, 
and as Reason assigning an end, Plato apprehends it as 
the creative principle, revealing itself in the Pheno 
menon : because God is good, He formed the world. 182 

mid so-called Matter, nor the sepa 
ration of the Ideas from things and 
of the Ideas from one another, 
lint the statement against which 
Rettig takes the field does not 
assert that Plato repudiated the 
personality of the divinity, but 
merely that he did not enquire 
into the question of personality. 

1 The view above developed, 
that the Idea of the Good is iden 
tical with the divinity, is found 
with different modifications of de 
tail, which affect the question of 
the personality of the Platonic 
God (not to mention the Neo- 
Platonists), in Herbart, Kinleit. in 
d. phil. WW. i. 248 ; Plat. Syst. 
fund. ibid. xii. 78 ; Schleierma- 
cher, PI. AVW. ii. C 134 ; Hitter, 
Gesch. d. Phil. ii. 311 sq. ; Preller, 
Hist. phil. gr.-riim. 2 A p. 241) ; 
Bonitz, Disputatt. Plat. 5 sqq.; 
1 .Hindis, ii. a. :J22 sqq.; Schweg- 
ler, Gesch. d. Phil. 3 A 56 ; 
Striimpell, Gesch. d. tlicor. Phil. 
d. Gr. 131 ; Ueberweg, Rlicin. 
Mus. ix. 6 J sqq. ; Susemihl, Genet. 
Entw. i. 360, ii. 22, 196, 202 ; 
Steinhart, PI. WW. iv. 644 sq., 
659, v. 214 sq., 258, 689 sq., vi. 
86 ; Stuinpf, loc. cit. ; Ribbing, 
Plat. Ideenl. i. 370 sqq. (Other 
authorities apud Stallbaum, Plat. 
Tim. 47.) I cannot, however, for 
the reasons above stated, agree 

with Steinhart (iv. 645), in re 
ferring Phileb. 30 A, C to the 
divinity in an absolute sense. In 
Phaedr. 246 C, which he also 
quotes, Plato is not expressing 
his own views on the divinity, 
but simply the ordinary opinion, 
which he declares to be mistaken. 
It appears to me a very improbable 
conjecture of Steinhart s (vi. 87 
sq.), that Plato distinguished be 
tween a principle of rest or per 
manency and an efficient principle 
of motion, an objective and sub 
jective, an Ideal and a real side in 
the divine Being the former the 
Idea of the Good, the latter Spirit. 
Both forms of statement are found 
in Plato, but he does not in any 
way indicate that different sides 
of the divine principle are thereby 
intended. All the objections of 
Rettig, Volquardsen, c. to my 
view, so far as they seemed to me 
to be of any importance, will be 
found to have been noticed either 
with or without express reference. 
- Tim. 29 D : \tyuncv 5% di 
ijv TWO. air Lav yeveviv Kal rb iran 
rode 6 ^yj/icrrds iW(rr?7crej>. dyados 
Jjv dyadtj) 5 oi)5ets irepl oi Sevo? 
oudfTrore tyyiyverai (pdwos (the 
very same important position 
which Plato brings as an objec 
tion, Pluedr. 247 A, to the eiov 
(f>Qovepbv of the popular creed). 



The doctrine of Ideas is in this way connected with the 
study of the Cosmos, Dialectics with Physics. 

rot 8 e/crfo &v irdvra. 8n nd\w- faov ^ fy oparbv ^\ o^x 

TO. yevtffdai e^ov\rjdr] irapaX^ffia. ^vx ^v&yov^XXaKivov^evov ir\r]^ 

eavru . . . Pov\r)6els yap 6 6ebs /xeXws iral drdxrw?, rff rdf w avrb 

dyada. f*h> Trdi>ra, <f>\avpov 5^ M^ ^yayev CK TT}J dra|faf, Tjyn<rd 

dvat Kara dvvafj.iv, ovrw 5fj irdv e/ceti/o TOVTOV irdvTM &fACU>W. 




UNDER the name of Physics we include all discussions 
relating to the sphere of natural existence; on the 
general causes of the world of Phenomena, as contra 
distinguished from the world of Ideas ; on the Cosmos 
and its parts ; and on Man. The first of these enquiries 
has three divisions : (1) the universal groundwork of 
the Sensuous as such, namely Matter ; (2) the relation i 
of the Sensuous to the Idea ; (3) that which mediatises I 
between the world of Ideas and that of Sense the I 

1. Matter. To understand Plato s doctrine of 
Matter, we must look back to his doctrine of Ideas. 
Plato considers Ideas as the only true existence: he 
regards the sensible Phenomenon as a middle-term 
between Being and Non-Being ; that to which only a 
transition from Being to Non-Being, and from Non- 
Being to Being, only a Becoming, and never a Being, 
can belong. In the Phenomenon the Idea is never 
purely presented to us, but always intermingled with 
its opposite, confusedly, broken up in a Plurality 


of individuals, hidden beneath the material veil. 1 
Phenomenon is not an absolute self-dependent existence, 
but all its Being is Being for another, by means of 
another, in relation to another, for the sake of another. 2 
The objects of Sense are therefore, in a word, only a 
shadow and mimicry of true Existence. That which in 
the latter is One, in the former is Many and Divided ; 
what there exists purely for and by itself is here in, and 
by reason of, another; what is there Being, is here 
Becoming. But how is this metamorphosis of the Idea 
in the Phenomenon brought about ? The cause of it 
cannot lie in the Ideas themselves ; these, even if they 
enter into a community of existence, still remain indi 
vidually distinct, without interminglernent, each in its 
own specific essence : an Idea cannot coalesce with its 
opposite or pass over into it. 3 Therefore, if one Idea 

1 Vide supra and Eep. vii. 524 ^vt\v, ?} ^h TO irapairav 

C vi 493 E 476 A, 477 A ; eft/at. Cf. Eep. v. 476 A ; Phsedo, 

Svmp 211 E, 207 D; Polit. 269 102 B sq.; also Crat. 386 D; 

p Theset. 160 B, in which latter 

- Symp. 211 A, where arche- passage, however, Plato is not 

typal Beauty in opposition to speaking in his own name. 

phenomenal beauty (r& TroXXa 3 Phsedo, 102 1) sqq.: e>ol yap 

A-aXa) is described as ov rrj ntv ^alverai ov fj.6vov avrb TO 

K0\bv, T-fj 5 alaxpof, ovoe TOT ou5^7ror e0t\eiv ^ 

/j.ei>, rore 5 ov, ovdt irpbs ^v TO fffJUKpbv ftvai, &c., ws 5 ai rwj KO.L 

Ka\bi> Trpbs 5e r6 alffxpbv ovtf TO fffJiiKpbv TO iv -rjfMV OVK eOe\ei 

Ivda p.kv Ka\bv, ?t>6a 5 alffxpov , TTOT ^ya ^ yiyvea0a.i ovoe &\\o 

ws rial plv ov Ka\bv, Ttffi 52 ouSev T&V evavTiwv, &c. 1 o this 

alffxpov. Phileb. 54 C, vide chap, it is objected that Socrates himself 

ii. n. 10. Tim. 52 C : clic6vi fj.ev had just said that opposites ^coine 

(sensible appearance), fircl-rep ou5 from opposites, to which it is re- 

avTO TOVTO e^ y yeyovfv (the plied : r6re ptv yap eX^ero e/e TOU 

Actual, for the exposition of which evavTiov TrpdynaTos^ TO evavTiof 

it serves) eai-r^j iffTLV, trtpov 5e Trpayfj.0. ylyveffOai, vvv 5e OTI airrb 

TICOJ del 0^perat (pdvTaff/J.a, oia TO evavTiov cauTy tvavriov OVK &v 

Tavra cv irtptp TrpoffrjKei Tivl yly- .rare ytvoiTO, &c. Cf. Soph. 252 

ye<r0at, oiV/as ct/xw<r76rwj avre^o- D, 255 A. 

MATTER. 295 

goes through many other Ideas, and includes them in 
itself, 4 each must still maintain its unchanged identity, 5 
after its own fashion. One concept allows itself to com 
bine with another, only so far as it is identical with 
that other. Sensible objects on the other hand, in v 
contradistinction from Ideas, are capable of assuming 
not only similar, but also opposite conditions ; and this 
is so essential in them, that Plato plainly says there is 
not one of them which is not at the same time its own 
opposite, the existence of which is not simultaneously 
its non-existence. 7 This imperfection of the Pheno 
menon cannot spring from the Idea : it rather proves 
that necessity as well as Reason is the cause of the 
world, and that this irrational cause cannot entirely be 
overcome by Reason. 8 Consequently to explain Sense 
as such, a special principle must be assumed, and this 
principle must be the direct contrary of the Idea, for 
it is precisely the contradiction between the Phenomenon 
and the Idea which has to be derived from it. It 
must contain the cause of the Non-being, the divisi 
bility, the mutability of the Phenomenon, and only 
this ; for whatever is real, one. and permanent, origi- 

4 Soph. 253 1) ; vide chap. v. vr)6r) vov S dj/ay/crjs dpxovros T 

note 78. ireideiv aurriv r&v yiyvofAtvuv rot, 

1 I hileb. lf> B ( vide note 88). TrXeterra ewi rb /SArtaTOJ/ Ayeiv, 

< ( . pp. 22S, 240. It will be shown TO.VTTI Kara ravrd re di dvdyKTjs 

presently that Re-pub, v. 470 A Tjrrw^j/rjs VTTO Treidous Zfjufipovos 

docs not contradict this view. orrw /car dpx^s wi <rraro r68e rb 

Soph. 2f>") K s(|<[. ; vide p. 249. TTO.V. ei ns otiv rj yeyove Kara TO.VTO. 

7 Rep. v. 47 ( , A (vide p. 224) ; &VTUS epet, /juKTeov /cat rb TIJS 
Phaedo, 102. TrXayw/i& ^s cISos atrt aj, 77 <f>epiv 

8 Tim. 48 A: ^^y^vrj yap ovv irftyvKev. ( f. Tim. 50 C, 08 E; 
roOSe roO KO<T/J.OV yevecns e$ Thefet. 170 A. 

re KO.L vov cruffTdcreus eyev- 



nates exclusively with the Idea. Therefore if the Idea 
be the purely Existent, this principle will be the 
purely Non-existent ; if the one be uniform and invari 
able Essence, the other must be absolute division and 
absolute change. This principle is what is usually, 
though not in Platonic phraseology, 9 termed by us 
Platonic Matter. */ \ - 

9 The word v\tj in Plato bears 
the same signification as in ordi 
nary speech : it means a wood, 
timber, and sometimes generally 
material. The later philosophic 
application of the word to signify 
the abstract concept of material 
substratum is expressed by Plato, 
so far as he has that concept at all, 
in other ways. This holds good 
of Tim. 69 A, -where, after a dis 
cussion on the two kinds of causes 
to be mentioned later on, we read : 
or ovv 8?j ra vvv olov reKTOffiv 
ijfjuv v\i] irapa.KiTai ra rdv alriuv 
7^77 5iv\aafj.^va (or -At<T/u^i>a) : 
since we have the different kinds 
of causes set out before us, as 
carpenters have their timber, and 
Phileb. 54 B (supra, chap. vi. 
n. 10). The context gives no 
occasion for understanding liX?/, 
with Susemihl, Genet. Entw. ii. 43, 
and Wohl stein, Mat. w. Weltseele 
(Marb. 1863), p. 7, as matter in 
general, and not rather (on the 
analogy of ^>dpfj.aKa and ftpyavcC) 
in the sense of raw material. The 
so-called Timreus of Locri uses 
(93 A sqq., 97 F), where Plato 

(Timseus, 48 E sqq.) has v- 
yevtatus, (fivais TO. Trdvra crw/uara 
Sexo^^T/, Se^a/x^?;, fK/J.aye iov, eKeTvo 
*v $ yiyverai, x^P a > T^TTOS, c. 
V TX?7, as a technical philosophic 
term, is first met with in Aristotle, 
and is frequently used in his ex 

position of the Platonic doctrine. 
It does not, however, follow that 
he had heard the word from 
Plato s own lips in the oral dis 
courses ; for, as is well known, 
Aristotle does not hesitate to 
enunciate the views of earlier 
thinkers in his own terminology. 
In Phys. iv. 2, 209 b. ii. 210 a. 1, he 
says : Plato in the Timasus (where, 
however, this denotation never oc 
curs) calls V\T] the /j-cGeKTiKhv, in 
the dypacpa 56y(j.a.Ta. It is the 
Great and Small. If we consider 
how foreign the word is to the 
Timseus, how closely its usage in 
Aristotle is connected with the 
peculiar leading ideas of his sys 
tem, and how little it is suitable 
to Plato, who did not, like his 
scholars, seek for the basis of the 
corporeal in a positive substratum ; 
and if again we observe that, for 
the reasons given above, it could 
not have occurred in the tiypatpa 
86yfj.ara, and that Theophrastus 
(in the passage quoted chap. vi. 
note 165) does not appear to know 
the term as Platonic, it will seem 
far from probable that Plato in 
troduced it into philosophic lan 
guage. Although therefore I shall 
make use of Aristotle s term for 
the sake of brevity, I do not wish 
it to be considered as Platonic. 
2c^ua may be more correctly re 
garded as an ordinary Platonic 



A description of it is given in the Philebus and 
Timaeus. 10 The Philebus (24 E) designates the uni 
versal substratum of the sensible Phenomenon as the 
Unlimited, and ascribes to it all that is capable of more 
and less, of stronger and weaker, and of excess ; that 
is to say, the Unlimited is that within which no fixed 
and exact determination is possible, the element of 
conceptless existence, of change, which never arrives 
at Being and permanence. 11 The Timeeus (48 E) enters 

denotation of the corporeal, in its 
general character and as distin 
guished from the spiritual. It 
occurs in this sense, Soph. 246 A- 
248 A ; Polit. 269 D, 273 B (where 
Schaarschmidt, Samml. d. plat. 
Schr. 210, thinks he finds an evi 
dence of spui iousncss in this un- 
Platonic signification of the word) ; 
and also Phileb. 29 C: cf. 64 B, 
and particularly (together with the 
equivalent aw^arofiS^y. in Tim 28 
B) 31 B, 34 B, 35 A, 36 D, 
50 B. The concept of <riD/*a, how 
ever, does not coincide with that 
of matter: the ad^a. is visible and 
palpable, and this presupposes that 
it consists of the elements (Tim. 
28 B, 31 B eqq.) ; the so-called 
matter, on the contrary, is anterior 
to the elementary bodies, yet it has 
none of their determinations in 
itself, and is therefore not per 
ceptible tothe senses. TheTrai/oexej 
becomes the ff,ua because it admits 
the form of the four elements. 
10 In the passage quoted p. 263, 

." Cf. Tim. 27 I), where it is 
said of _ the sensible as a whole, 
that it is yi.yvQij.evov uev del 6v 5e 

1X6701; Bo^aarbv, yiyv6/j.evov 
iiro\\v/j.evoi , &VTUS 8e 

Woblsteio, loc. cit. 3 sq. 8 sq., 
would understand by the yiyv6fj.e- 
vov ad in this passage not the 
world but matter, and would refer 
the yevvfirbv irapddeiyfjia mentioned 
in what follows (28 B, 29 A) to 
matter also. Against the first of 
these suppositions there is the cir 
cumstance that the yiyvb^evov del 
is not merely perceptible and pre 
sentable but also subject to be 
coming and perishing. Matter, 
according to Plato (cf. note 14), is 
neither. A complete and accu 
rate consideration of the passage 
will show both suppositions to be 
equally untenable. With respect 
to the yiyvbfj.evov del it is remarked 
that it must have an author. The 
question follows, What archetype 
the author used in its creation? 
That which^ is fashioned after an 
archetype is itself neither the arche 
type nor the material in which it 
is fashioned. Nor can the material 
be identified with the archetype 
which it is to represent, as Wohl- 
stein maintains. By the yevv^bv 
TrapdSeiyfj.0. is not meant anything 
which actually preceded the crea 
tion of the world ; it is merely 
something laid down hypotheti- 
cally. Instead of saying, the 
creator fashioned the world on an 


more into detail. Plato here distinguishes first the arche 
typical, self-identical Essence Ideas. Secondly, comes 
that which is imitated from them, the sensible Pheno 
menon. In the third place we have that which is at 
once the groundwork and the receptacle of all Becoming. 
the common element which underlies all corporeal ele 
ments and all determinate matter. In the ceaseless 
flux of all these forms in the circle of Becoming this 
common element runs through them as their perma 
nent substratum: it is the something in which they 
become, and to which they return. It is never repre 
sented in them purely, but only under a particular 
form ; 12 it is the impressible mass (iKfiaytiov) out of 
which they were all formed, but which, for that very 
reason, must itself be without specific quality or definite 
form. That such an element must be presupposed, 
Plato proves from the continual flux of things sensible, 
the constant passing of the elements one into another. 
This he says would be impossible if the determinate 
kinds of matter in themselves were something real, a 
Something, and not merely modifications of one com- 
X mon and therefore necessarily indeterminate third 
Something. 13 That Something he more precisely de 
scribes as an invisible and shapeless nature, capable of 

eternal archetype, Plato says lie wav 8*1 ^^a us cWa aura 

fashioned it not according to the evSeixwrai 0cuns. . . . ^ V < 

Becoming, but according to the tyyiyrbfura del ticaffTW O.VTW 0cu>- 

Eternal. rdfcrcu Kal v&\iv ftcfWcv airoXXureu, 

13 49 1) sq : we must not call pbvov tuewo au Trpovayopevew T(? 

any definite material (as fire, re TOVTO K al T$ rode irpoffXP^vovs 

water, &c.) a r65e or TOVTO, l>ut 6j/6^ara, K.T.\. 
only a rowkror, because they are " 41) B sqq. We have already 

always passing into one another ! met with something similar i 

Qeuyei yap ovx virbfJievov TT,V rov Diogenes of Apolloma, vol. i. p. 

r65e Ko.1 TOVTO Kal TT)v T$5e Kal 219. 



taking any shape ; 14 as Space, which, itself eternal and 
imperishable, provides a home for all Becoming; as 
the Other, in which all Becoming must be, in order to 
exist at all ; while true Existence, as in itself sole, can 
not enter a sphere so entirely different from itself. 15 
The statements of Plato s disciples are all to this effect. 
According to Aristotle, Plato in his discourses reduced 
Matter to the Unlimited, or, as he usually says, to the 

14 50 A. sqq. ; e.g. as gold 
continually transformed into all 
possible figures would still be 
called gold, so with tbe nature 
0wm) which admits all bodies in 
itself: TOLVTOV avryv del irpotrpTjTeov 
CK yap TTJS eavTrjs TO irapdirav OUK 
^iVrarat Si^d/ieus. Se xercu re yap 
del ra Travra, Kal fj.op(j>T]v ovdeuiav 
irore ovSevl r&v flffibvruv 6fj.olav 

yap (pi crei iravrl /cetrat, KivovfJ-evov re 
Kal 5iacrxf]P-o.Ti^6fj,vov virb T&velaLbv- 
TUV, (paiverai 5e 5t e/cetVa #XXore 
aXXotop. TO. 5 eiffiovra /cat e^iovra 
TWV 6vTuv dei /u/u^uara (that which 
enters into that nature is in each 
case the copy of the Ideas}, TVTTU- 
Bivro. air avr&v Tpbirov riva dixr- 
<f>paffTov Kal Oavfj.a<TT6i>. . . . That 
in which an impression is to be 
taken must in itself be apop^ov 
Kcivuv airacrCov ruiv t Se o;^, 6 tras 
fj.\\oL SexeaQa-i troOev. If it already 
had any of these forms, it would 
give back the impression badly. 
Just as we make the oil, out of 
which ointments are to be pre 
pared, scentless, and the wax form 
less which we intend to mould, 


&el re 6vTb}v Kara irav eairoD (in 
3ach of its parts) TroXXd/as d(pofj.ot- 
KaXws fj-eXXovn 

Klvai rCiv et ScDi . dib 5rj rr)v 
yeyot>6ros oparou Kal Trdirwy 
TOU /j.r)Tepa Kal inro8oxfty fj-r/re yrji> 
depa [tyre irvp /^rjre vdtop 
jTe 6<ra e/c TOVTUV ^re 
&v raura ytyovev dXX dvbparov 
e!56s TL Kal a^opfpov , iravdexes 
fj.era\d}Ji^avov Se dTropurard irr) 
rou VOTJTOV Kal SvcraXwToTaTov avrb 
\eyovres ou \j/ev(r6fj.eda. The cor 
rect view is simply that : irvp ^v 
avrov TO 

s <f>aii><j-6ai, TO ds vypavOev 

, /c.r.X. 

13 52 A sq. : bfJ.oXoytiTfoi , i> 
fj.ev elvai. Tb /caret TavTa eTSos %X OV > 
dy^wrjTov Kal dvuXeOpov, &c. . . . 
TO 5^ b^(!jvvfj.ov Te 
(sensible Being) devrepoi . . . 
TOV d aS yews oi> Tb TTJS 
dei, (fidopav ou irpoffdexbueitov, Zdpav 
5^ Trapexov o<ra ?x et ytveffiv Tracrtv, 
dt /ACT dvaiffdrjcrias O.ITTQV 
TI.VI vbdtj), fjioyis TriaTOv, 
irpbs 6 5rj Kal 6vetpoTro\oi ( /3Xe- 
TTOires, /cat <pa/j.ev dvayKalov elvai 
TTOU Tb bv dirav Zv TIVI Toiry Kal 
KaTexov x^P av TWO-, 7"6 5e /J.T]T ei* 
yrj ftr/re TTOV /car ovpavbv ovdtv 
elvat . . . rdX077ey, ws dKbvi fttv, 
K.T.\. (vide note 2) ... offros 
ovv 877 irapa T^S t/J.i)s \f/r](f>ov \oyt- 
ffdels tv /ce0aXat a; 5e56cr0w X670S, QV 
T /cat x^P av Kal yeveaiv etvat rpta 
Kal irpiv ovpavbv 


Great and Small, in order thus to express that its 
specific essence consists, not in fixed, self-identical, 
Ideally defined properties, but only in extensive or 
intensive quantity; that it is capable of enlargement 
and diminution, of increase and decrease to an indefi 
nite extent. 16 Hermodorus says he described it as all 
that stands in the relation of Great and Small, that has 
in itself an endless gradation of more and less, that falls 
under the category of the inconstant, the infinite, the 
formless, the Non-existent, and as such can neither be 
called a principle nor a Being. 17 What then are we to 
gather from these statements was Plato s real opinion? 
It was once generally supposed that Plato taught the 
existence of an eternal corporeal Matter,, or, at any 
rate, of a corporeal Matter that preceded the creation 
of the world. Aristotle first gave occasion to this 
view, 18 though he does not share it; among later 
writers it is almost universal, and in modern times it 
has found many noteworthy supporters, 19 though not a 
few 20 opponents. 21 Much may be urged in its favour. 

1(i Phys. iii. 4, 203 a. 15, c. G, 1S Vide p. 283, 100. 
306 b. 27; iv. 2, 209 b. 33, 1, 9, 19 Bonitz, Disput. Platonicae, bo 

192 a 11 ; Metjiph. i. 6, 987 b. 20 sq.; Brandis, Qr.-rom.I hil. 11. a. 295 

sqq. 1, 7, 988 a. 25 ; iii. 3, 998 b. sqq. ; StaUbaum Plat. Tim p 43, 

10 This statement is more fully 205 sqq. ; Kcmbold, Gescli. d .1 hil. 

discussed in my Plat. Stud. p. 217 i. 125 ; Hegel, Gescli. der Phil. n. 

sqq and later on in this chapter. 231 sq. ; Strum pell, Gescli. d theor. 

17 in the statement of Dercyllidcs Phil. d. Gr. 144 sqq.; Ueberweg 

as to Hermodorus (borrowed from lib. d. pi. Welts., Khein.-Mus. ix. 

Simplicius), vide p. 277, 137, 57 sqq. ; Volquardsen Idee. d. 

which is quoted in detail in my pers. Geist. 70 sq. ; Schneider, D. 

Diatribe de Hermodoro, p. 20 sqq., Mat. Princ. d. plat. Metaph (Gera, 

and again by Susemihl, Genet. 1872) 11 sq. ; \Vohlstem, Mat. u. 

Entw li 522 sqq. The quotation Welts. 11 sq., &c. 
from Eudemus, vol. i. 302-3, 3rd * Bockb, in Daub and Creu- 

edit., agrees with this. zer s Studien, iii. 26 sqq.; lutter, 

MATTER. 301 

The groundwork of sensuous existence is undoubtedly 
described in the Timasus as a material substratum ; 
it is that in which all particular forms of matter arise, 
and into which they resolve themselves ; 22 it is com 
pared with the unhewn mass out of which the artist 
fashions his figures ; it is set forth as the TOVTO and 
TOE, which, never departing from its own nature, 
ij assumes sometimes the form of fire, sometimes that of 
:i> water, &c. : lastly, mention is made of something 
j visible, which, before the beginning of the world, had, 
in the restlessness of lawless motion, the forms and 
; qualities of all elements confusedly and uncertainly in 
,| itself. 23 But this last enunciation contradicts others 
I too palpably to be maintained. Plato repeatedly de- 

rreiier, Mist. plnl. Ur.-rom. 257; out c 

Schleiermacher, Gesch. der Phil. p. not 

105; Steinhart, Plat. W. vi. 115 angl 

sqq. ; Susemihl, Genet. Entw. ii. Plat 

Gesch. der Phil. ii. 345 sq. ; being from the elements. By that 

Preller, Hist. phil. Gr.-rom. 257; out of which these become we are 

merely to understand the tri 
ples (vide chap, viii.) of which 
*lato composes the elements. The 

105 sqq. ; Bibbing, Plat. Ideenl. j. expression seems designedly gene- 

.333 sq. ; Siebeck, Unters. z. Phil, ral, to suit any other supposition 

l.Gr. 103 sqq. Cf. my Plat. Stud, which represents the elements as 

-12, 225. derived ; e.g. the theories of the 

1 Marbach, Gesch. der Phil. i. Atomistsandof Anaxagoras. There 

P; 113. 8( l-i an d Sigwart, Gesch. der is no real question as to what the 

rail. i. 117 sqq., express them- elements are composed of. The 

selves^ vaguely. Ast (iiber die object is rather to guard against 

Materie in Tim. Abhandl. der Miin- any confusion of the primal sub- 

phener Akad. i. 45-54} does not stratum with the components of 

:learly state ^ his own views as to the elements (determined in form 

. lato s me.-ming. or quality), whatever they may be. 
22 Vide supra, 298. Thestatement a Tim. 30 A, vide p. 291, 181 ; 

Tim. 51 A, that the virodoxT] rov 52 D sqq. 09 B ; cf. Polit. 269 

: /eyevbros is neither one of the four I), 273 B: TOVTUV 8t avr$ [np 

i loments, /UTjre ocra CK TOUTUV /u.^re /c6(T/xy] r6 crw^aToeiSf s TTJS 01 

^ wv ravra. yeyovev, is merely in- <rews OITLOV, rb rr}s ira.\a.i 

ended to exclude the notion of any <f>v<reus avvrpoQov, on iroXX^s .,, 

lefinite matter : the individual /xcr^xoJ dramas irpiv ei s rbv vvv 

- ensible things are what come into KO<TIJ.QV d(, 


dares that the common substratum of all elementary 
forms must be entirely formless. Here beginnings of 
configuration are attributed to it. Elsewhere he holds 
that all the visible was originally created. 24 Accord 
ing to this passage, a visible something existed before 
the creation of the world. 25 He makes all motion in 
the corporeal to come from the soul. Here inanimate 
matter is said to be continually moved. These contra 
dictions are not to be evaded by the distinction of a 
double matter ; 2G (a primitive matter which, as wholly 
shapeless, is likewise invisible and uncorporeal, and a 

24 Tim. 28 B. 

a5 The expedient, which Stall- 
baum (Plat, Tim. 205 sqq.) and 
apparently also Volquardsen ([too. 
cit. 70 Bq.) adopt in the supposition 
that God first made matter and 
then fashioned the world out of it, 
is thoroughly inadmissible. Had 
this been Plato s meaning he must 
somewhere or other have declared 
it ; but there is not a single pas 
sage in which a creation of matter 
is taught or hinted at (on Tim. 52 
D, cf. note 27), nor does Aristotle 
know anything about it ; the Ti- 
mseus rather distinguishes the 
foundation of the corporeal from 
all Becoming: the archetype is 
one, the copy is two, yvc<riv 
Kai bparbv, the forodo;^ yo 
three (48 E) ; dirav offovwep 
~jivtG(.v (49 E, vide note 12) is a 
mere TOIOVTOV, not a rode ; the 

(30 A : irav oaov r)v bparbv irapa\a. 
puv. 08 E : ravra STJ iravra rbr 
ravrr] irefpvKora e^ dvdyK-rjs b , . 

parated from the 
TOV and ^fvvrjrbv (52 A, vide note 
15). One is fashioned by God : of 
the other it is said that he has re 
ceived it to form it into the world 

. . . 

TGV avrdpicr) re /cat TOV rfXewraroi 
6ebi> eyevva). Expressions like thij 
cannot mean that God created _i 
for this end and then formed it 
and Plato could not possibly have 
assumed this. Supposing that 
there were in the world no ele 
ment in its essence ^ and origin 
independent of the divine causality, 
the limitation of that causality u< 
necessity, and the opposition 
voOs and dray/c?;, so expressly em 
phasised by Plato, would have no| 
foundation ; for (Politicus, 273 B) : 
only good is communicated to the ; 
world by its author, everything 
incomplete and bad can only origl- \ 
nate from its corporeal nature. 1 
Were this likewise the work of the 
Divinity, there could be, on Plato s, 
theory, no such thing as evil in thei 

- 6 Ueberweg, Rhein. Mus. ix. 
62. Siebeck loc. cit. is opposed to; 


secondary matter, which even before the creation of 
the world was to a certain extent formed). Not only 
dors Plato give no hint of such a distinction, 27 but he 
expressly excludes it, by attributing to the same sub 
stratum which at first, before the Deity has begun to 
set it in order, is described as entirely without proper 
ties an unregulated motion, and those beginnings of 
"lemeiitary forms, which it is difficult to conceive as 
rigiuating prior to the framing of the Cosmos. 28 This 
joint must therefore belong to the mythical expressions 
11 which the Timseus abounds. 29 It is the ancient 
lotion of Chaos which Plato temporarily appropriates, 

-" Tim. 52 D (supra, note 15 
end) might perhaps suggest itself; 
where by y&eais, as distinguished 
rom %c6/)a, the so-called secondary 
natter might be understood. But 
he comparison of p. 50 C (76*77 
piTTa, TO fj.fv yiyv6/>ov, TO 8 tv 
) yiyverai, TO 5 o6tv d(pofj.oioi>fj.vov 
01/ercu TO yiyvoufvov] and 52 A 

supra, note 15 beginning) proves 
hat the yeveais applies to that 
vhich is fashioned on the model 
f the ideas the word of sense. 
?his would of course not be ante 
rior to the world : Plato does not 
ay that the yiyv6f.t.fvov was before 
he world, but simply that the 6V, 
he x^P a j an d tho yfreais are dis- 
inct (Tpla. Tptxij), ar "d were always 
o, i.e. they are distinct in concept. 
!8 Tim. 48 E, Plato says : besides 
he previous two classes (eidrj}, the 
rapadeiyfj.a and the /m.ifj.r]/j.a Trapa- 
there is a third, the 
or TiOrjvt] After 
aving shown that all determinate 
natter, in its continual interchange 

and transition, presupposes such 
an unchangeable substratum, he 
repeats, 50 C (vide previous note), 
his enumeration and explains that 
none of the forms and attributes 
which it is to appropriate can 
belong to that substratum ; then, 
52 A (vide note 15), lie again re 
curs to the same classification, 
which, 52 I) (ibid, end), is repeated 
a third time, ami immediately adds 
the words : Tr/v Se drj 
TiOrjvr}v vypat 

5ia d TO \j. 

Iffoppoirwv fj.TriTr\aadat /car 
ai)r^s icroppoTTe tv, &c. Here it is 
obvious that the T(.Q-r\vr] is the sub 
stratum previously described as 
entirely formless, which however 
cannot possibly be liquid, fiery, 
&c., before it has taken the forms 
of the elementary bodies. 

29 So, according to Bockh, loc. 
fit., with all that goes beyond the 
tlreory of matter in this dialogue. 


replacing it by something else when he has to explain 
himself more definitely. The rest has more weight, 
but is still not decisive ; even if that which underlies 
all determinate matter, as substratum and as cause of 
its apparent constitution, be, according to our view, 
Matter alone, it may still be asked whether that view is 
shared by Plato. He constantly declares, and the 
Timseus reiterates the declaration (27 D), that only to 
the Idea does true existence belong ; but how can he 
maintain this if Matter be set beside the Idea, as a 
second substance, equally eternal, and according to its 
essential nature equally permanent and self-identical, 
in all the vicissitude of its forms ? So far, however, 
from doing so, Plato designates matter with sufficient 
clearness as the Non-existent, According to the 
Timgeus, it is neither to be apprehended by Thought, 
like the Idea; nor by Perception, like the sensible 
Phenomenon. 30 Since then, true Being, according to 
Plato, is absolutely knowable, while that which is inter 
mediate between Being and Non-being is the object of 
perception, and Non-being is wholly unknowable/ 1 it 
follows that Matter can only belong to Non-being. 
And the same inference is deducible from the definition 
of sense as a middle term between Being and Non- 
being. 32 If all the Being of Sense arises from par 
ticipation in Ideas, 33 that can only be Non-being 
whereby Sense and Ideas are contradistinguished from 
each other. Plato, however, has expressed himself still 

20 52 A sq. ; vide note 15. ra Rep. v. 479, vi. 509 B, vii. 

31 vide p 266 517 C sq. ; Phcedo, 74 A sq. ; 76 D, 

32 Hep. V. 477 A, 479 B sq., 100 D ; Symp. 211 B; Farm. 129 

x. 597 

;ep. v. 477 A, 47 1 J 1> sq., iuu u ; a 
A. A, 130 B. 

MATTE 1}. 


more clearly : That in which all things appear, grow 
up and decay, is Space. 34 It is, therefore, that Third 
Element which, side by side with Ideas and the Pheno 
menal world, is required as the universal groundwork 
of the latter. 35 It is conceived, not as a mass filling 
ace, but as Space itself the Empty, which receives 
into itself the forms of the corporeal. Hence the 
Timreus never speaks of this groundwork of the sensibly- 
perceptible as that out of which, but always as that lii 
which, things have become. 36 Aristotle, too, agrees 
with this ; his testimony is all the more weighty, as 
his inclination to fit in the views of others under 

34 Cf. with Tim. 49 E : (ev $ 8t 
\ tyytyvfrfJieva del eKaara avru>v (fiav- 
i rdi"era /cai ird\iv eKeWev dtTroXXurou) 
I ibid. 52 A: (TO aiffd-^rbv] ytyvo- 

I fJ-eVOV T %.V TlVi T07TCJ KCLL trd\lV 

" J.oc. cit. : rpirov 5e av ytvos 
6i> TO rfjs %u>/>as del (pdopdv ov 
Trpoa-8exofJ.voi>, tbpa.v de irap^x ov 
8<ra %a yevetriv Tracriv, /c.r.X. ; vide 
note 15. Tim. 53 1) : oBros /ie^ 
irapd TTJS e,u?}s ij/r)<pov Xo-yt- 
K(pa\aia) dedoffOu \6yos, 6i> 
re KOLI xupw /cat ytveffiv eli/at, &c. 
It is unimportant whether we 
translate %wpa here hy space, or 
with Schneider (d. mat. rrinc. d. 
plat. Metaph. 12) by place, for 
place just as well as space can be 
imagined empty or full. The only 
point here is whether it is a full 
or an empty space, which, accord 
ing to Plato, forms the original 
substratum of the corporeal world. 
But as Plato expressly marks the 
Xupa as the sphere of all Becoming, 
we need not give it the more limited 
signification of Place (i.e. deter 
mined space), rather than the gene 

ral one of Space. Plato himself, 
according to Aristotle, did not dis 
tinguish between %w/><x and TOTTOJ : 
v. subter, note 39. 

38 He says, j& A, 53 4 of the 
elements, that things are fashioned 
e avru>i>, for they have determined 
forms, they are bodies (which is 
not the case with the 8ea.fjLfrr) ; cf. 
note 9, end), and therefore con 
stituent parts of things. With re 
spect to that which precedes the 
elements as their general substra 
tum, it is merely said, 49 E, 50 
C-E, 52 A-B, that it is that lv < 
yiyverai, the ^KdexofJ-evov TTO.VTO. 
yevrj ev avry, Sac. Such an expres 
sion, repeated six times, cannot be 
unintentional, but can only be ex 
plained on the view enunciated 
above. What, again, is the mean 
ing of the statement, 50 A (supra, 
note 14), in a comparison, that as 
the figures which we make K 
Xpv<rov are all gold, so it is with 
the 0i <ris rd TTO.VTO. <ru>/xara 8ex~ 
fj,tvri ; it is to be considered in all 
of them as one and the same ? In 
both cases the substratum remains 


categories of his system would have disposed him 
rather to ascribe to his master the notion of Matter as 
a positive principle side by side with the Idea, in oppo 
sition to Plato s real meaning, than to deny, without 
historical reason, that Plato held such an opinion. 
Aristotle, however, assures us that Plato made the 
Unlimited (a-rrupov) a principle, not in the sense in 
which unlimited might be the predicate of another 
substratum, but so that the Unlimited should itself be 
subject. 37 He distinguishes his own view of Matter 
from the Platonic view, by the definition that while 
Plato regards Matter as wholly and absolutely Non- 
being, he himself regards it as only relatively so : (/caret 

negation (GTtpiiaic;) is the I 
essence of Matter ; to Aristotle it is only a quality of / 
Matter. 38 As to the oral discourses, Aristotle makes it 
appear that in these, far more than in the Timseus, 
Plato avoided the appearance of presupposing a positive 
Matter ; since he merely designates the Great-and- 
Small as that which receives Ideas into itself. 39 But 

the same, in spite of the multi- scarcely need detailed examination, 
plicity and change of its forms : ;i9 Phys. iv. 2, 209 b. ii. 33 : 

but it does not follow that this nXdrajp rrjv v\rjv Kal TTJV x^P av 

substratum is in one case that out TOLVTO <j>7}<ni> eu/cu cv T Tipaly TO 

of which, and in the other that in yap iJ-eTaX-rjirTLKov Kal TT}V x&pav v 

which, the things become. Kal TOLVTOV. a\\ov 5 Tpoirov &ca 

37 Phys. iii. 4, 203 a. 3 : TrdvTes re \tyuv TO / ueraX??7rTt\-<ij Kal iv 

(TO airfipov] cl? o.p X. nv Tiva Tidtaai TCHS \eyoju.vois dypd<pois c6y/u.aaiv 

TUV 8i>Tui>, oi /*}>, &<rirp ol IIi;0a- (on which cf. chap. ii. note 7) OJULUS 

yopeiot Kal nXdrwj , /ca^ avTb, ovx ^ov TQTTOV Kal T^V ^^pav TO avib 

.cis (rvfj.^fj3 rjK6^ TLVL eT^py, dXX dw e (p-flit ar o . . . IIXciTum ytt^rot 

ovaiav avTb ov TO atreipov. Xe/cr^ov . . . Sid Tl OVK iv r67ry rd 

S8 Phys. i. 9 : vide my Plat. ci5?7 Kal ol dpid/Aol, etVe/) TO jj-fdeKTi- 

: Stud. p. 223 sqq. Kbben s objec- xbv 6 TOTTOS, cire TOV /jLtyd\ov Kal 

tions to my elucidation of this pas- TOV (jiiKpov UVTOS TOV f 

(De Plat. id. doctr. 41 sqq.) eire T^S uXijs, fcairep tv T 



the most striking proof of the correctness of this view 
is given by Plato himself in his mathematical construc 
tion of the Elements. 40 A philosopher who should 
conceive of a mass filling space, assuming different 
forms, and thus changing into the several elements, 
could only seek for the ultimate constituents of these 
elements in the smallest bodies. Plato, however, 
supposes the Elements to be composed of planes, and, 
in their passage into each other, to resolve themselves 
into planes. Thus he makes bodies to originate not 
from atoms primarily, but from figures, by means of 
the mathematical limitation of empty space. 41 

41 Teichmuller s objections (Stud. 
z. Gesch. d. Begr. 328 sq.) to the 
above view seem to me to prove 
little : Matter, according to Plato, 
is the basis of motion and change ; 
but this does not apply to space. 
But the basis of motion with Plato 
is the soul ; matter so called is 
only^ basis of Becoming, of the 
shifting change between opposed 
conditions. Why should not this 
basis, on Plato s theory, reside in 
the fact that that which, according 
to its conceptual essence, is some 
thing ordered and regulated, be 
comes, when it admits the form of 
space, something unlimited and 
therefore un-ordered? It could 
not be said of space (vide note 15) 
that we perceive matter as in a 
dream when we say that everything 
must be in a determined place. 
But Plato does not say that we 
perceive matter as in a dream ; he 
says that the x^P a is that in refer 
ence to which we imagine (dvetpo- 
TroXoO/uej ) that everything must be 
in a place somewhere, whereas this 
is not true of the actually existing. 

x 2 

. Plato in the Timseus docs 
not use the expression V\TJ (vide 
note 9), but he describes the basis 
of the sensible in such a way that 
Aristotle ascribes that denotation 
to him. As he expressly makes an 
exception in the case of the tiypafa 
o6yjj.a.Ta, there can have been no de 
scription in them similar to that of 
the Timams ; Metaph. i. 7, 988 a. 
25, the Great-and-Small are ex 
pressly denoted as a V\TJ d<ro>/iaroj, 
and Phys. iv. 7, 214 a. 13, Aristotle 
says : 5io <t>a.aL rives eli/cu rb Kevbv 

TJ)V TOV (Tii /JiCLTOS V\7]V, o l1Tp KO.I T&V 

T6TTOV, which certainly refers to 
the Platonic school, and probably 
to Plato himself. Plato had ac 
tually described the x^P a as the 
rbiros of Jill perceptible existences 
(in the passage Tim. 52 A sq., 
quoted in note 15 and note 34). 

10 This point, which is decisive 
for the present question, and too 
little considered by the supporters 
of a corporeal primary matter in 
Plato (as Susemihl, loc. cit. 409, 
remarks) will be discussed in 
greater detail below. 



For these reasons we cannot admit that Plato held 
a corporeal primary Matter. But it does not follow 
that Hitter 42 is right in assuming him to have regarded 
the sensuous notion as something merely subjective. 
According to Hitter, all Ideas (with the exception of 
the highest) possess only a limited existence. This 
involves the hypothesis of a limited knowledge which 
does not adequately distinguish the pure essence of 

The expression oveipwrreiy does 
not imply that %wpa cannot he per 
ceived in the waking state, hut 
that we imagine what holds good 
only of sensible heing, to hold 
good of all heing generally. Teich- 
miillev s final objection is that 
Plato s description elsewhere of 
matter does not apply to space. 
This in a certain sense is correct ; 
the delineation of the antemundctne 
chaotic matter (mentioned supra) 
cannot he transferred unchanged 
to the concept given in the passage 
hefore us. But Teichmuller, like 
all who deny to Plato the notion 
of such matter, is forced to reckon 
this delineation amongst the my 
thical elements of the exposition. 
On the other hand, as regards 
Plato s manner of envisagement, I 
cannot see the impossibility of 
saying that space becomes watery 
or fiery (rrjv d 5?j yevtveus nQ t]- 

52 D). In the formation of the 
elements, the iravdexts becomes 
water, fire, &c. simply through a 
determined fashioning in space. 
This paragraph, however, by which 
every theory of Platonic matter 
has to establish its correctness, 
Teichmuller passes by unnoticed. 
He believes (p. 332 sq.) that Plato 
determines matter, just as Aristotle 

did afterwards, to be Potentiality 
(StW/zts). The onlv proof which 
lie quotes to support his view, Tim. 
50 B, does not prove it in the least. 
It is there said of the (pvcris ra 
TTOLVTO. (rdf-iara Se^o^ei^ (vide note 
14) : TO.VTOV avTT]v del Trpoffpujr^ov 
CK yap TT;? eavTrjs rb Trapdirav OVK 
ei<rrarcu Swd/iewj. A determined 
5wa,ats (here identical with 0u<ns), 
i.e. a determined property, is cer 
tainly thus attributed to it ; and 
according to what follows this con 
sists in its heing the Tra^Se^e ?. 
But we cannot conclude that in its 
essence it is nothing else than Svva- 
/M.S ; whether 5vi>a/jus is understood 
as the potentiality to become every 
thing, or the power to produce 
everything. In Teichmiiller s fur 
ther remarks, there is nothing to- 
prove that, according to Plato, 
the essence of matter is the poten 
tiality of the Idea, or mere possi 
bility, and nothing more. 

/- Gesch. d. Phil. ii. 303-378;- 
vide especially p. 3G9, 374 sqq. 
Similarly Fries Gesch. der Phil. i. 
295, 300, 330, 351, and Maguire, 
An Essay on the Platonic Idea 
(Lond. 1800), 102 sq., who, how 
ever, has strangelv misunderstood 
the words (Tim. 52 B) TO 
to 777, K.T.\. 


things, and only apprehends Ideas partially. Hence 
the notion of an existence in which the Ideas are inter 
mingled, and their absolute Being becomes a merely 
relative Being. Intelligent natures, however, strive for 
perfect knowledge ; and thus the notion of Becoming ap 
pears to arise. The sensuous notion, therefore, results 
from the imperfection of Ideas in their separation from 
one another ; the world of Sense exists only in relation^ 
to the sentient subject. So the Platonic theory of 
Matter would be in effect identical with that of Leib 
nitz, sensible existence would be only the product of 
confused notion or opinion. Of this line of thought (as 
Bitter himself admits 43 ) there are, in the Platonic writ 
ings, only f very obscure indications, and even these, on 
closer consideration, disappear. Plato certainly says 
that there is a KOIVUVIO. of Ideas ; and that in the sen 
suous notion and sensuous existence Ideas intermingle 
with each other. 44 But he nowhere makes the com 
munion of concepts, as such, contain the ground of this 
intermingling. Even in the Republic (v. 176 A) 45 it is 
only asserted that, beside the combination of concepts 
with the corporeal and Becoming, their combination 
among themselves might make it appear as if the con 
cept, which is essentially One, were a Plurality. But 

Loc. cit. p. 370. Ta6fJ.ej>a TroAXo, (paiveaOai. fKarov, 

^ Kg. Ifep. vii. 524 C : ^ya i.e. one and the same concept ap- 

MV ^-cu 6$i^ K al ffp.LKpbv etipa, pears in different places ; the con- 

<t>, ciXX cv KexupKrvtvov, dXXd cept of unity, for instance, not 

ffvyKcxi tMov TI. Cf. Hep. v. 471) merely in the separate individuals 

A ; vide pp. 228, 295. of most widely different kinds, but 

UdvTuv ruv fiSwv irepi 6 avrbs in all the concepts which partici- 

\67os, airrbub, $v fKaarov wat, rfj pate in it ; hence the appearance 

Si ruv irpdtfuv Kal <rufj.dTiw Kal of unity as such being manifold. 


as this only happens in the case of persons unacquainted 
with the dialectical discrimination of Ideas, 46 it must 
result from the incapacity of the individual to distin 
guish the copy from the prototype, the thing partici 
pating from that in which it participates. 47 Nothing 
is said as to the origin of that distinction. If we bring 
other passages to our aid, we shall find that Plato, so 
far from deriving material existence merely from the 
sensuous notion, rather derives the sensuous notion from 
the nature of the corporeal. According to the Phaedo, 
it is the union of soul with body which hinders us from 
a pure cognition : 48 at our entrance into this life, by 
means of that union, we have sipped the draught of 
Lethe and forgotten the Ideas. 49 At the beginning of 
its earthly existence, the soul loses reason in the ebb 
and flow of sensation ; not until this has abated, does 
it once more partake of reason : 50 and then, only by 
disengaging itself inwardly from the body. 51 The soul 
cannot hope for the full possession of reason till it is 
wholly freed from this lower life and exists in itself 
alone. 52 The tone and connection of these enuncia 
tions being almost wholly didactic, we ought not to 

46 Soph. 253 D ; Phileb. 15 D. avrb otfre avrb TO. /j.eT^x vra 

47 Rep. v. 476 C : 6 oiV KctXa fj.ei> /mevos, virap ?} ovap aft Kal oSros 
Trpdy/uara vofj.ifav, avrb 5 /cdXXos SoKel crot ^v ; 

, ^n?re, &v rts rjyiJTai eirl 48 Phfedo, 60 B sqq. Cf. ibid. 

TT)v yvGxnv avrou, Swd/Aevos eTreadai, 65 A ; Rep. x. Gil B. 

ovap $ virap So/eel <roi ftp; ffKbiret. 49 Phsedo, 76 D ; Kep. x. 021 A. 

$? rb 6veipuTTeu> &pa ov r65e 50 Tim. 44 A : /cat 6ta $77 

effrlv, fdv re Iv ijirvif TLS, eav re ravra TO. Tra.drnj.aTa (the previously 

eypyyopu? TO ofJioibv TU /J.TJ 6fJ.oi.ov described cuV07?(reis) vvv tear apxa* 

d\\ avTb Tj-yrJTai dvai y toiKcv : Te &VQVS ^ix^ yiyveTai. Tb irpuTOit, 

. . . T L 82, 6 TOVTCW yyov- OTav et j <rufj.a evdeBfj OvrjTov, &c. 

/j.ei>6s TC Tt aM Ka\bi> /cat 8uvd/Jt.- 5l Phaedo, 04 A ; 65 E, 07 A ; 

vos KaQopq.v Kal avTb Kal TO, e/ceiVou Tim. 42 B sq. 

r> - Phdo, 00 E, 67 B. 

MATTER. 311 

consider them mythical and exaggerated unless they 
are contradicted by definite counter-explanations. But 
this is not the case. Plato s having recognised in the 
sensuous perception a means for attaining the know 
ledge of truth, proves nothing. 53 The sensuous percep 
tion is such a means only so far as the sensuous element 
in it is abstracted, and a return made to the Idea that 
is revealed in it. On Hitter s theory Plato must have 
derived the sensuous notion from the communion of 
Ideas with each other, and from the manner in which 
this communion is presented by particular Ideas or 
souls, 54 the sensible phenomenon being afterwards de 
rived solely from the perception of sense. So far from 
this, Plato takes the opposite course, and explains the 
intermingling of Ideas from the nature of the sensuous 
notion, and the nature of the sensuous notion from that 
of sensuous existence. Such is the only explanation 
given in the Philebus and Timgeus : and Aristotle knows 
of 110 other. 55 Indeed, as Brandis well remarks, 56 the 
s ubj octi ve._ idealism which Hitter ascribes to Plato is 
altogether foreign to antiquity, and must necessarily be 
so from its whole point of view ; it presupposes a con 
sciousness of the importance of subjectivity too one 
sided and powerful for any but modern times. 

If, then, the Universal, the basis of sensible existence, 
is neither a material substratum, nor a mere phantasy of 
the subjective notion, what is it ? Plato, in the passages 

53 Hitter, p. 350. modifications, apart from that 

" 4 .Hitter s theory of souls being theory, and no further stress need 

Ideas, and its incorrectness, 1 have be laid here upon the point. 

already adverted to (preceding 55 Hee my Plat. Stud. p. 216 

chapter). Ilis view of matter, how- sqq. 

ever, can be adopted, with slight 6t! Gr.-rb m. Phil. ii. a. 297. 


[quoted above, tells us himself, and Aristotle agrees 
with him. The groundwork of all material existence 
V is the Unlimited i.e. Unlimitedness, the Great-and- 
Small conceived not as predicate, but as subject ; not, 
however, to be described as corporeal substance ; the 
^"on-existent, i.e. Non-being; 57 that is to say, empty 
Space, as the condition of separation and division. In 
the place of an eternal Matter we must therefore 
suppose the mere form of Materiality, the form of 
Existence in Space and of Motion; and when the 
Timaeus speaks of a Matter restlessly moved, before 
the creation of the world, this only expresses the 
thought that separation and Becoming are the essential 
forms of all sensible existence. These forms Plato would 
have us regard as something objective, present in the 
sensible Phenomenon itself, not merely in our notion. 
On the other hand, Matter can have no reality or sub 
stantiality of its own, for all reality is in Ideas. It 
! remains, therefore, to explain Matter as the negation of 
the reality supposed in Ideas ; as the Non-being of the 
Idea, into which the latter cannot enter without dis 
solving its Unity in Multiplicity, its Permanence in the 
tiux of Becoming, its definiteness in the unlimited 
possibility of augmentation and diminution, its self- 
identity in an internal contradiction, its absolute Being 
in a combination of Being and Non-being. This con 
cept is certainly hard to realise. Putting aside the 
question whether a Space without a substratum in 
Space a Non-being, which exists apart from the notion 

57 For the ^ dv cannot here be the predicate of a subject separate 
from it. 

MATTER. 313 

of it is thinkable ; reserving to another place the en 
quiry about the participation of this Non-being in Ideas, 
and passing by all the objections which might be raised 
from without, against this portion of the Platonic doc 
trine, there are still two considerations which from its 
own point of view cannot be overlooked. One is the 
relation of Matter to our knowledge; the other its re 
lation to things. That which absolutely is not, Plato 
maintains 58 cannot be conceived ; consequently, if Matter 
is absolute Non-existence, the notion of it must also be 
impossible. It cannot be the object of perception- (as 
he says himself 59 ), for perception shows us only de 
terminate forms of Matter, not the pure formless 
ground of all the material, only a rofourov, not the 
TO&?. But .still less can it be the object of thought, 
.or thought has to do only with the truly exis 
tent, not with the Non-existent. And it is impos 
sible to see how we arrive at the notion of this 
ubstratum, if it is neither in a condition to be per- 
jeived nor thought. It is only a veiled expression of 
his perplexity when Plato says that it is apprehended 
)y a kind of spurious reason ; G0 and when he adds that 
t is very hard to comprehend, the embarrassment is 

Vide p. 220. categories. Tim. Socr. 94 B, nnder- 

Tim. 51 A, 52 B (vide notes stands him to mean a knowledge 

4 and 15), where it is called avo- by analogy (\o-yt<rfj.$ v6dtp,T$fijiru 

-HLTOV, /ACT di>ai(T6r)aias airTuv, 49 /car tvdvupiav vorjff6ai, dXXa /car 

D sq. (supra, note 12). dva\oyiav) ; and so Alex. Aphrod. 

60 52 B: /*er dvaiffd-rjffias O.TTTOV Qu. i. 1, p. 14; Simpl. Phys 

yyuTAiv TIVI v6e v . In what this 49 b u. Plotin. ii. 4, 10, p. 104 

spurious thinking consists Plato (i. 118 Kirchh.), interprets the 

nmself can hardly explain : he expression as abstract thought, the 

nakes use of this strange expres- dopiaria resulting from the removal 

ion from inability to bring the of all sensible attributes. 

otion of Matter under any of his 


openly confessed. 61 The fact is that, when we abstract 
all the particular qualities of that which is sensibly 
perceived, and seek for its common property, we find 
that it is only something thought, a universal concept ; 
which, according to Plato s presuppositions, is pre 
cisely what it cannot be. The same result follows if 
we keep in view the import of Matter for the Being 
of things. Inasmuch as Matter is absolutely noii-ex- 
istent, and the sensible phenomenon is a middle term 
between Being and Non-being, an inferior proportion of 
reality must belong to Matter as compared with the 
sensible Phenomenon : to the one, a half-reality ; to 
the other, none at all. But Matter is also to be the 
permanent principle, that which, in the vicissitude of 
sensuous properties, maintains itself as something essen 
tial and self-identical. 62 It is the Objective, to which 
the images of Ideas reflecting themselves in the Pheno 
menon must cleave, in order to take hold, and become 
participant in Being. 63 It is that irrational remainder 
which is always left when we abstract from things that 
which in them is the copy of the Idea. However 
little reality may be conceded to it, it has the power 
of receiving the Idea, at least for its manifestation in 
the flux of Becoming and the externality of existence 
in Space, 64 and also of occasioning the vicissitude of 
birth and decay. 65 These characteristics certainly 

61 Loc. cit : [r6 TTJS x^pas] /^V ts <i:i 5 - *- 5 v dc notes 2 and 3. 

K.T.\. (vide note 15), 49 A: (54 Cf. subsequent remarks in this 

vvv 5e 6 \6yos ZoiKev elaavayKa^eiv chapter and in chap. x. on the 

XaXeirbv Kal a/j.v5p6i> etSos eTrixetpeu relation of reason to natural neces- 

\6yoi.s e/j.<f>avi(rcu. sity, on the origin of the latter and 

(i - The ro5e and TOUTO, which are on evil. 

equivalent ; vide notes 12 and 14. b5 Cf. the quotations from Eu- 

MATTES. 315 

earn- us far beyond the concept of mere Space, and 
give to Matter, instead of Non-being, a Being which, in 
its very permanence, has a certain similarity to that of 
the Idea, That which Plato adduces 6G as the special 
characteristic of true Being, the power to do and to 
suffer, is also attributed to Matter, when it is described 
as a cause restraining the operations of reason. 67 And 
this may help to explain those expressions in the 
Timams, which represent the groundwork of sense not 
as mere capability of extension, but as a mass con 
tained in Space. But we must abide by the results 
we have just obtained. Plato s real view, according to 
his plain statement, tends to deny all Being to Matter, 
to abolish the notion of extended substance in the 
concept of mere extension. This was necessitated by 
the first general principles of his system. Whatever 
contradicts this view (so far as Plato seriously means 
it) we must regard as an involuntary concession to facts, 
which refused to give way to his theory. 68 

II. The Eelation of Sensible Objects to the Idea. 
Tin- above conception of Platonic Matter explains, on 
one side at least, Plato s theory as to the relation of 
material things to the Idea. It is usually believed 
that, to Plato, the world of sense and that of Ideas 
stood over against each other, as two separate spheres, 

clemus and Hermodorus, note 17, dualistic character of the Platonic 

d P- r . 277 > 137. system. In that passage the ques- 

M Vide p. 202, Ins. tion is not as to dualism in general, 

^ TO T?)S Tr\avu/u.tvr]s atrias etSos, but as to the assumption of two 

lim. 48 A. or three material principles, and 

58 I cannot, however, appeal to especially as to the half-mythical 

.he^passage (Soph. 242 D) quoted cosmogonies of Pherecydes and 

>y Teichmuller (Stud. z. Gesch. d. (apparently) of Parmenides in the 

Begr. 137) as evidence against the second part of his poem. 


two substantially different classes of existence. The 
objections of Aristotle to the theory of Ideas 69 are 
chiefly grounded on this hypothesis, to which Plato has 
undoubtedly given occasion by what he says of the 
existence of Ideas for themselves and as archetypes. 
We must nevertheless question its correctness. Plato 
himself asks 70 how it is possible that Ideas can be in 
the Becoming, and in the unlimited Many, without 
losing their Unity and Invariability ? And he shows 
with what difficulties this enquiry is beset. Whether 
it be assumed that the whole Idea is in each of the 
many participating in it, or that in each there is only 
a part of the Idea, in either case the Idea would be 
divided. 1 Again, if the doctrine of Ideas be founded 
011 the necessity of assuming a common concept for all 
Multiplicity, a common concept must be likewise 
assumed for and above the Idea and its synonymous 
phenomena : and so 011 ad infinitum. 72 This diffi 
culty presents itself again on the supposition that the 
communion of things with Ideas consists in the imita 
tion of the one from the other. 73 Lastly, if it be 
maintained that the Ideas are that which they are, 
for themselves absolutely, it would seem that they 
could never have reference to us or become known 
by us, but only refer to themselves. 74 These ob- 

li9 Cf. Ft. ii. b. 216 sqq., 2nd is usually expressed by saying that 

edit. the doctrine of Ideas necessitates 

70 Plnleb. 15 13 ; vide p. 252, the supposition of a rpiros &v6pw- 
89. TTOS. Vide infra. 

71 Fhileb. loc. cit. Farm. 130 E- 7 - ! Farm. 132 D sqq. Cf. Alex- 
131 E. nnder s quotation from Eudemus 

"- Farm. 131 E sq. The same (Schol. in Arist. 560 a. ii. b. 15). 
objection, often made by Aristotle, 74 Farm. 133 B sqq. 

-MATTER. 317 

jections to the doctrine of Ideas would not have 
,been suggested by Plato, had he not been convinced 
that his theory was unaffected by them. How then 
from his own point of view could he seek their solu 
tion ? The answer lies in his view of the nature of 
material things. As he ascribed to the Material no 
specific reality, distinct from that of the Ideas, but 
places all reality, simply and solely, in the Idea, and 
regards Non-being as the special property of the world 
of sense, all difficulties in this form vanish. He does 
not require any Third between the Idea and the Phe 
nomenon, for they are not two separate substances, 
standing side by side with one another ; the Idea alone S 
is the Substantial. .He need not fear that the Idea 
should be divided, because of the participation of the 
Many in it, for this plurality is nothing truly real.. 
Nor need he consider how the Idea, as existing for 
itself, can at the same time stand in relation to the 
Phenomenon ;. for as the Phenomenon, so far as it 
exists, is immanent in the Idea, as its allotted share 
of Being is only the Being of the Idea in it, so the 
Being of Ideas, and their reference to one another, is 
in itself their reference to the Phenomenon ; and the 
Being of the Phenomenon is its reference to the Ideas. 75 
While, therefore, in places where he has no occasion 
to develope more precisely his view of the nature of 
material things, Plato may adhere to the ordinary 
notion, and represent the Ideas as archetypes, over 
against which the copies stand, with a reality of their 
own. like a second world side by side with ours in 

75 Of. Plat. Stud. p. 181. 



reality, he is still only expressing the qualitative dis 
tinction between real and merely phenomenal existence. 
He is only giving the metaphysical difference between 
the world of Ideas and the world of sense; not an. 
actual partition of the two, in which each attains its 
specific reality, and the sum total of Being is divided 
between them. It is one and the same Being which is 
contemplated whole and pure in the Idea imperfect 
and turbid in the sensible Phenomenon. The unity 
of the Idea appears 76 in objects of sense as Multiplicity ; 
the Phenomenon is (Rep. vii. 514) only the adumbra 
tion of the Idea, 77 only the multiform diffusion of its 
rays in that which, by itself, is the dark and empty 
space of the Unlimited. But whether this opinion 
intrinsically tenable, and whether the above-mention 
difficulties as to the theory of Ideas do not, after all 
reappear in an altered form, is another question whic" 
will come before us further on. 78 

76 Rep. v. 476 A; Phil. 15 B. 
See note 47. 

77 Cf. the well-known allegory of 
the prisoners in the cave, Rep. vii. 
514 sqq., according to which the 
objects of sensible perception stand 
to true existences in the relation of 
the shadows to the bodies; when 
we take any object of sensible per 
ception for something real, we are. 
simply taking the shadows for the 
things themselves. 

78 The view developed abovo is 
essentially accepted by Susemihl, 
Genet. Entw. i. 352 ; Deuschle, 
Plat. Sprachphil. 27 sq.; Ribbing, 
Plat. Ideenl. i. 252, 262, 333, 360 
sq. ; and is combated by Stumpf, 
Verh. d. plat.Gott. z. Idee d. Guten, 
23 sqq., and others. It is well 

known that Plato ascribes a beinj 
(and that too of a particular kirn 
not merely to Ideas but to soul 
and sensible things. We have seei 
(note 15) that, together with tl 
Ideas and the corporeal world, 
mentions space as a third cl< 
of Being : and he considers the 
Becoming and change of sensible 
things an objective incident. Aria 
totle, therefore, with whom the I 
reality of the latter was an article 
of faith, in representing the dSy as 
Xwpi<TT<x, as a second world besides! 
the sensible world, had sufficient j 
justification in the Platonic doc 
trine. The Ideas may be indepen-j 
dent of and uninfluenced by thej 
phenomenon, and there may ^ 
something in the phenomenon which | 



All that we have said, however, concerns only one 
side of the relation of the Phenomenon to the Idea : 
the negative aspect, in which the self-subsistence of 
sensible things is cancelled, and the Phenomenon is re 
duced to the Idea, as its substance. The other side is 
far more difficult. If the world of sense, as such, have 
so little reality ; if, apart from its participation in the 
Idea, it be even regarded as non-existent, how is this 
Non-existence generally thinkable beside the absolute 
Being of the Idea, and how can it be explained from 
the point of view of the Ideas ? To this question the 
Platonic system as such contains no answer. The 

separates it from the Idea. But, as 
was shown above, it does not follow 
that the phenomenon has equally an 
existence in and for itself; that its 
being does not rise into that of the 
Ideas ; lhat consequently it exists 
without the Ideas, just as the 
Ideas exist without it. I do not 
assert that the Platonic view on 
the relation of things to the Ideas 
is exhausted by the explanation 
of the immanence of the one in the 
other. I merely say that this ex- 
presses one side of the doctrine : 
the other side, the distinction of 
things from the Ideas, the separate- 
ness of sensible being, which makes 
the Ideas something beyond the 
world of sense, eidrj xayuffrd, can 
not only not be explained by that 
determination, but cannot even be 
brought into harmony with it. An 
objector therefore must not be 
contented with showing that the 
latter determinations arc to be 
bund in Plato (which I do not 
ieny), but must prove that the 
>thers are not to be found and are 
lot needed by the universal pro- 
suppositions of his system. To 

prove this is impossible so long as 
the passages above quoted are 
allowed to stand, and so long as 
the oft-repeated explanation (that 
only the Ideas have real Being, and 
are the object of knowledge, and 
that all the attributes of things, 
in short all the reality that they 
have, is imparted to them by the 
Ideas) holds good. If it seems 
impossible to attribute such a 
contradiction to Plato, we may ask 
how Plato could have proceeded in 
order to escape it on the supposi 
tions of his system ; and why this 
contradiction is less possible than 
the others which Aristotle has so 
forcibly pointed out. And we may 
notice that even Spinoza, whose 
conclusions otherwise are educed 
with the utmost rigour, continually 
involves himself in analogous con 
tradictions, explaining the plurality 
of things and finitude generally as 
something which vanishes under 
reflective contemplation (sub ceter- 
ultntiii specie], and yet as an objec 
tive reality, not merely a datum in 
our envisagemcnt. 


assumption, side by side with the Ideas, of a second 
real principle which should contain the ground of finite 
existence, Plato has made impossible, by maintaining 
that reality belongs alone to the Idea. Neither can he 
derive the finite from the Ideas themselves for what 
should determine the Idea to assume the form of Non- 
being instead of its perfect Being, and to break up the 
unity of its essence into partition in space ? He 
allows, indeed, that in each individual concept, as 
such, there is an infinity of Non-being ; but this is 
quite other than the Non-being of material existence. 
The Non-being in the Ideas is only the distinction of 
Ideas from one another, the Non-being of sensible 
objects, on the contrary, is the distinction of the 
Phenomenon from the Idea. The former completes 
itself by means of the reciprocal relation of the Ideas, 
so that the Ideal world, taken as a whole, includes in 
itself all reality, and has abolished all Non-being. 
The latter is the essential and constant boundary of 
the finite, by reason of which each Idea appears (not 
only in relation to other Ideas, but in itself) as a mul 
tiplicity, consequently in part non-existent, inseparably 
combined with the contrary of itself. Again, there; 
fore, it is impossible to point out in Plato any actual 
derivation of the phenomenon from the Ideas. We 
can but enquire whether he ever sought to establish 
such an interconnection, and if so, how he attempted it. 
We get our first hint on this subject from the fact 
that the Idea of the Good is placed at the apex of the 
system, or that God, as the Timoeus expresses it, 79 

79 29 D sq. ; vide p. 291, note 181. 



formed the world because He was good. This thought, 
fully developed, would lead to such a concept of 
God as would make it essential in Him to manifest 
Himself in the Finite. Plato, however, for reasons 
deducible from the foregoing pages, could not thus 
develope it. The only conclusion he draws is that 
(rod brought into order the lawlessly moved mass of 
visible things, in which Matter, or the Finite, is 
already generally presupposed. To explain this latter, 
the Timaeus can only appeal to necessity. 80 Of the 
Divine causality, on the contrary, it is assumed, that it 
could bring forth nothing but perfection. 81 Similarly 
tin* Thesetetus (176 A) declares: Evil can never cease, 
for there must always be something opposite to good ; 
and as this can have no place with the gods, it neces 
sarily hovers about in mortal nature and in our world. 
And the Politicus (269 C) speaks to the same effect, of 
the alternation of cycles, following of necessity from 
the corporeal nature of the universe. All this, how- 
ever, does not bring the question a single step nearer 
its answer, for this necessity is only another expression 
for the nature of the Finite, which is here presupposed 
and not derived. In vain do we seek among the 
writings of Plato, for any express mention of such a 
derivation. We are therefore forced to construct one 

^ 5 ,, D 5 f, C 8 - S( l > ancl mortal creation, and the whole dis- 

especia lly 47 1< sq tinction, to be mentioned later on. 

At least in 41 C. The funda- between that which i/ow and that 

mental position propounded, 30 A, which AV^KT, has done in the 

n another connection ^ ouV ^ world, points that way Cf Polit 

our tori T V aplffjv dp*? &\\ TT\^ 209 K sq. It will be shown below 

, ,. - . -I--F- ~ -Wi/ -IJ OL. JL \V1U UC BUOWU 

TO ifdXXi^), is applied to mean that no evil comes from God 
that God Himseli can produce no (chap. xii.). 




from the whole tenor of his system. How Bitter has 
attempted to do this we have already seen, but were 
unable to agree with him. Aristotle seems to point 
out another way. According to him, 82 the Great-and- 
Small (or the Unlimited) is not merely the Matter of 
sensible objects but also of the Ideas : from its union 
with the One arise Ideas or intelligible numbers. 83 If 
we adhere to this view, Materiality, in which the 
specific property of the sensible phenomenon consists, 
would be accounted for, by means of the participation 

82 Metaph. i. G, 987 l>. 18 sqq. 
(where in the sentence so often 
quoted e eKeivuv, &c., the words 
TO. ei S?; are to be struck out), 988 
a. 8 sqq., xi. 2, 1060 b. G, xiv. 1, 
1087 b. 12 ; Phys. iii. 4, 203 a. 
3-16, iv. 2, 209 b.. 33. According 
to Simpl. Phys. 32 b. ra. 104, b. m. 
cf. 117 a. m. (Schol. in Ar. 334 b. 
25, 362 a. 7, 368 a. 30), other 
Platonists, e.g. Speusippus, Xeno- 
crates, Heraclides, Hestiaeus, gave a 
similar account, following the Pla 
tonic discourses on the Good. On 
the Great-arid-Small of the early 
part of this chapter, and on the 
whole doctrine, cf. my Plat. Stud. 
216 sqq., 252 sqq., 291 sqq. ; 
Brandis, ii. a. 307 sqq. 

8:i V. p. 253 sqq. The indefinite 
duad together with the unit is 
mentioned instead of the Great- 
and-Small as the material element 
(Alex, ad Metaph. i. 6, 987 b. 
33; i. 9, 990 b. 17. Idem apud 
Simpl. Phys. 32 b. m., 104 b. ; 
Porphyr. and Simpl. ibid.). Plato 
himself, however, seems to have 
used this exposition only with 
reference to numbers ; the indefinite 
or the Great-and-Small of number 
is the even, the duad, which is 
called the i>&j d^icrroj, is distinc 

tion from the number two. (Cf. 
Arist. Metaph. xiii. 7, 1081 a. 13 
sqq., b. 17 sqq. 31, 1082 a. 13, b. 
30 c. q. 1085 b. 7, xiv. 3, 1091 a. 
4, 1, 9, 990 b. 19 : Alex, ad Me- 
taph. i. 6; Schol. 551 b. 19; Ps. 
Alex, ad Melaph. 1085 b. 4, and 
my Plat. Stud. 220 sqq., with the 
results of which Brandis (ii. a. 310) 
and Schwegler (Arist. M.etaph. 
iii. 64) agree). On the other hand 
we see from Theophrastus, Metaph. 
(Frag. xii. Wimm.) 12, 33, that 
the indefinite duad was made use 
of in the Platonic schools, like the 
aTTcipov of the Pythagoreans, as the 
basis of everything unite and sen 
sible. Instead of the term Great- 
and-Small we find the Many and 
Few, the More and Less, Plurality, 
the Unlike, the Other, used to 
represent the material element 
(Aiist. Metaph. xiv. 1, 1087 b. 4 
sqq.). Each of these is added as 
Platonic to the disputed determi 
nations of the Platonists ; cf. on 
Unity and Plurality, Phileb. 16 c. ; 
on the Like and Unlike, Tim. 27 
D sq., Phil. 25 A, Farm. 161 c. sq. r 
on the Unit and the Odrcpov, Par- 
menides, Tim. 35 A, Soph. 254 

memues, urn. oo -tv, oupn. tu* 
jqq. ; on the More and Less, the 
Many and Few, Phileb. 24 K. 



of the world of sense in the Ideas, and the difficulty 
of explaining the origin of material existence from 
Ideas would be removed. 84 But it is removed only to 
return in greater force. It is certainly more compre 
hensible that things should have in them Ideas in 
conjunction with the material element, but it is all 
the less easy to see how there can belong to Ideas, 
which are to consist of the same elements as material 
things, an existence essentially different from sensible 
existence. It is in effect to cut away the ground from 
under the whole Ideal theory, and at the same time to 
leave the world of sense, as distinguished from that of 
the Ideas, unexplained and unexplainable. And the same 
may be urged against the attempt 85 to explain the dif 
ference of the sensible, and the super-sensible world, 
by making Ideas originate from the immediate activity 
of the One, and sensible things out of the common 
material primary cause by means of the activity of 
Ideas. 86 If it is the same One, and the same Unlimited 
which in a first combination produces Ideas, and in 
a second, brought about by Ideas, produces sensible 
things, it is impossible to see where the extension and 
variability come from, which belong to sensible things, 

84 Stallbaum (Proll. in Tim. 44 ; 167): TO, yap eidrj TOU TL e<rr/ 

Puna. 136 sqq.) thinks that Pla- atria TO?J aXXois TOIS 5 1 efSecri T& 

tonic matter can be explained as &/. Kal (sc. t}>avepbv} T/J ij ij\rj ?) 

simply equivalent to the eternal or viroKet/Ji.ei>r), Kad rjs ra eidrj tni 

infinite, which is also the matter of TUV a.laQ-r\r^v rb U & eV ro?s erSeo-t 

the Ideas. \tyerai (of which in that place the 

3i) Brandis, Gr.-rora. Phil. ii. I). Ideas, here the One is predicted, so 

622 ; cf. i. a. 307 sq. far as they contribute properties, 

86 Avist. Metaph. i. 6, 988 a. 10 definiteness of form), 6Vt aunj Si/ai 

(following the quotation, chap. ii. eVrt. rb Ate yct Kal TO fj.iKp6v. 

Y 2 


but not to Ideas. The essential difference of Idea and 
phenomenon is still unaccounted for. There would be 
only one way out of the difficulty: to assume with 
Weisse 87 that the same elements constitute Ideal and 
finite Being, but in diverse relation; that in Ideas, 
the One rules and encompasses Matter, in the world of 
sense, it is overcome and embraced by Matter. But 
how is this perversion of the original relation of the 
two principles brought about? AVe can only retreat 
upon an inexplicable deterioration of a part of the 
Ideas. 88 But neither the Platonic nor the Aristotelian 
writings give the least hint of such a deterioration. The 
only passage which might be adduced in support of it, 
the Platonic doctrine of the sinking down of the soul 
into corporeality, has not this universal cosmical im 
port, and presupposes the existence of a material 
world. If this way, however, be closed, it is no longer 
possible to ascribe to Plato the doctrine that the same 
Matter which is the groundwork of sensible existence, 
is also in the Ideas. Together with Matter, he must 
have transferred to the Ideal world Becoming, extension, 
and all that the Philebus predicates of the Unlimited, 
and the Timsous of the Universally-recipient. But in 
so doing he would have abandoned all ground for the 
assumption of Ideas, and for the distinction of sensible 
objects from the Idea. He would have flatly contra- 

87 De Plat, et Arist. in consiit. that the sensible is simply the 

summ. philos. princ. differentia copy, the Ideas the archetype, ex- 

(Lpz. 1828), 21 sqq. and in many plains nothing; the question is, 

passages of his notes on Aristotle s how the incompleteness of the 

Physics and Do Anima ; cf. my copy can be reconciled with the 

Pla t. Stud. p. 203. equality of the elements in the 

Ideas and the sensible thi 

Stallbaum s remark loc. cit. Ideas and the sensible thin 


dieted the proposition, quoted by Aristotle, 89 that the 
Ideas are not in space. The groundwork of things 
sensible, which Plato describes in the Timanis, was 
necessary, because without it the specific difference 
between the world of Ideas and that of sense could not 
be explained. It was to provide a home for the Be 
coming and corporeal. the visible and the sensible ; 9(> 
to be the place for the copies of the Idea, which, as 
copies merely, must exist in another ; 91 it is the 
ground of change and of extension, the cause of the 
resistance experienced by the Idea in natural neces 
sity. 9 - How then can it be at the same time the 
element which forms the Ideas and Ideal numbers by 
receiving Unity into itself? Would not the Ideas 
directly become something extended ? Would not that 
be true of them which Plato expressly denies 93 that 
they are in another namely in space ? From these 
considerations it seems safer to charge Aristotle with 
a misunderstanding of the Platonic doctrine into which 
he might easily fall, rather than Plato with a con 
tradiction that utterly destroys the coherence of his 
system. That Plato spoke of the Unlimited, or the 
Great-and-Small, in reference to Ideas, we may well 
believe. He actually does so in his writings. In the 

8 V. p. 242, 50. this is in something else : rw 5 

3 A, 50 B, 51 A, 52 A. 6vrus 6m porfos 6 Si d*/N0cfa 

J 52 13 ; vide notes 15 and 2. dX^s \6yos, us e ws &v n r6 ^v 

lira. 47 E sqq. Details on &\\o rj, rb 8t &\\o, ovderepov ev 

tins point later on. ovderepy TTOTC yeyevrjftfvov tv &fj.a 

1 _ Vide supra, p. 240 sqq., but TO.VTOV K al 8vo ^v^^Bov. Plato 

particularly the passage just quoted could not have expressed more 

Tim. f>2 U : it is true only of the definitely the independence of 

copy ot Real Existence, that every- matter and the Idea, 
thing must be somewhere, for oiilv 


Philebus (1G C) after he lias said, at first quite univer 
sally, and expressly including pure Ideas (15 A), that all 
things have in them by nature limits and unlimited- 
ness, he subsequently, referring to this, divides existence 
into Limited and Unlimited, and then describes the 
unlimited (21 A -s^.) in a manner that could not 
apply to the Idea, but only to the Unlimited in the 
material sense. Similarly in the Sophist (256 E) he 
remarks, in regard to the infinity of negative elements 
and class-qualities, that there is in every Idea plurality 
of Being and infinity of Non-being. There is no doubt 
a confusion here in Plato s language ; and so far as this 
always presupposes confusion of thought, we must 
admit that he lias not distinguished with sufficient 
clearness the elements of Plurality and Difference in 
the Ideas, from the cause out of which arise the 
divisibility and mutability of phenomena. But that 
he, therefore, transferred the Unlimited, in the same 
sense in which it is the specific property of sensible 
existence, to Ideas also, or that he actually called it 
the Matter of Ideas, we are not justified in asserting. 
Aristotle, however, makes 110 such allusion to a differ 
ence between the Matter of Ideas and that of sensible 
things, as modern critics have professed to find in 
him, 94 and the theory is positively excluded by his 

tj4 Uebenveg, Eliein. Mus. ix. elements of all things; but tins 

<>4 sqq. who cannot convince him- does not prevent the homonymous 

self that Plato identified the In- elements being considered as 

definite in the Ideas with the specifically distinct, at the same 

material of sensible things, and time as their generic similarity is 

also refuses to recognise it in the recognised. In the Ideas, the first 

accounts given by Aristotle. These element is the One in the highest 

accounts, he says, designate the sense, the Idea of the good or the 

One and the Grcat-and-Small as the ])ivinity. The second is the 6arepov 


whole exposition. 95 We can, therefore, only suppose 
that, on this particular question, he somewhat misap- 

or the separation of the Ideas from 
one another. In mathematics, the 
former is the number one, the 
latter is arithmetically the indefi 
nite duad, geometrically space ; in 
corporeal substances, the former 
is the tvv\ov eldos (determined 
qualities), the latter matter. The 
same view is supported by Stumpf 
loc. cit. 77 sq. 

K Aristotle often mentions the 
o.Treipov or the /j.eya Kal fUKpkv as 
the i \?7 of the ideas ; but he no- 
where gives us to understand that 
this is an aireipov of a different 
sort or the same aireipov in a dif 
ferent way to that of sensible 
things. ( hie and the same aireipov 
is in both. Cf. Phys. iii. 4, 203 

a. 9 : T& IM^VTOI. dtreipov Kal ev rots 
ulffdljTOit Kal (v fKfivais [rats 
t &cus] eivai. i. 6, 987 b. 18: Plato 
considered the aroix^o- of the 
Ideas as the (rroixeia of all things : 
us ovv fi\rjv rb ^ya Kal rb 
HiKpov dvai dpxas, ws 5 overlay rb 
&. Ibid. 988 a. 11 ; vide note 8(3. 
Metaph. xi. 2, 1<JK) b. (5 : rots . . . 
K TOV evos Kal TTJS vXrjs rbv dpid- 
V-bv (viz. the Ideal number or the 
Idea) ycvvwffi -rrpurov. xiv. 1,|us7 

b. 12: the 1 latonists do not cor 
rectly define the dpxal or aroix^a 
01 fj.ev TO /JLeya Kal TO /JUKpbv \fyov- 
T6S [Aera TOV evbs rpia ravra OTO- 
Xfta TWV apt0fjLuv t TO. /ntv 860 vXrjv 
rb 6 ^ rrjv /moptfiyv. Stumpf loc. 
cit. remarks on this that, according 
to Aristotle, the tv the immediate 
cause only for the Ideas, and the 
same explanation holds good of the 
ptya Kal iJ.LKpbv. 1 I cannot under 
stand how the Great-and-Small 
can possibly be called the imme 
diate cause for the Ideas only ; 

there is nothing in the things of 
sense that can supply its place as 
the Idea in them supplies the 
place of the One. Nor can I agree 
with Stumpf s conclusion. It is 
much more probable that Aristotle, 
had he meant that the aireipov 
stands in different relation to sen 
sible things from that in which it 
stands to^ the Ideas, would have 
said so, just as he does say in 
reference to the One. But in 
Metaph. i. G, 988, a. ii. (vide note 
1), he says of one and the same 
i \?;, the Great-and-Small that in 
the Ideas, the One in things, the 
Idea, is assigned as the determina 
tion of form ; and though in Thys. 
i. 4, G, 203 a. 15, 206 b. 27, he 
ascribes two aireipa to Plato, in so 
far as Plato breaks up the tiireipov 
into the Great-and- Small, there is 
not a word of different sorts of 
Great-and-Small in his accounts of 
Plato s doctrine as to the matter 
of Bodies. lie says that in the 
Platonic school (and perhaps even 
with Plato himself) the Long and 
Short, the Broad and Narrow, the 
Deep and Shallow, were placed 
under the derivation of lengths, 
surfaces, and bodies respectively, 
instead of the Generic ( oncept 
comprehending them, viz. the ( J reat- 
and-Small (Metaph. i. 9, 992 a. 10 : 
xiii. 9, HiS;-> a. 9 . But he nowhere 
states that for the derivation of 
physical bodies the Grcat-and- 
Small was replaced by any other 
concept (such as that of the Full 
and Void). On the contrary, he 
meets Plato with the question, 
How can the Ideas be out of space, 
when the Great-and-Small or 
Matter, is the ^6f K TiKbv = space ? 


pretended Plato. If such a view seem to impugn too 
disrespectfully the historical credibility of the Stagi- 
rite, 96 we must remember that the vagueness of Platonic 
doctrine would be very likely to cause a misapprehension 
of its real meaning in the mind of one who every 
where sought for fixed and accurately defined concepts. 
The physical part of the system which obliged Plato 
to determine the concept of Matter more accurately, 
and to distinguish the corporeally Unlimited from the 
element of plurality in the Ideas, was, if we may 
judge from his quotations, chiefly known to Aristotle 
from the Timgeus ; and similar and even more striking 
misconstructions of Platonic expressions can be traced 
to him, with regard to many writings that still exist. 07 
He points out himself that Plato described the Great- 

(Phjs. iv. 2, 209 b. 33.) In 
Metaph. i. 9, 992 b. 7, he draws 
the inference that if the v-rrepox^l 
and ?\Xei^ts (equivalent to the 
Great-and-Sniall) are causes of 
motion, the Ideas also must be 
moved. Metaph. xiv. 3. 1090 b. 
32 (where cf. Bonitz on the text), 
in opposition to Plato, he asks, 
whence the mathematical num 
bers are derived. If from the 
(Ireat-and-Small, they will be 
identical with the Ideal numbers. 
Phys. iii. G end, he concludes that 
if the aireipov is the comprehensive 
principle in sensible things, Kal ev 
rots forjTols TO fj.^ya Kal TO fJUKpbv 
^5et 7re/ne xetJ> TO, VOI^TO.. These 
objections and inferences would be 
impossible if Aristotle had not sup 
posed that the Great-and-Small, 
which is intended to be an clement 
of the Ideas, was identical with the 
cause of extent and motion in 
bodies, or if he had known any 

thing of its distinction from the 
Great-and- Small in mathematical 
numbers. Aristotle could not 
possibly, says Stumpf, have 
charged Plato with such a contra 
diction, as that the matter of the 
Ideas was identical with that of 
sensible things, while the Ideas 
themselves were not in space ; still 
less would he have left this con 
tradiction unnoticed in his criti 
cism of the doctrine of Ideas. But 
a mere glance shows that he has 
done both ; he has charged Plato 
with the contradiction in question, 
and has made use of it in criti 
cising the Ideas. 

93 Brandis loc. cit. p. 322 ; Stall- 
baum in Jahn and Seebode s Jahrb, 
1842, xxxv. 1, 03. 

97 Cf. my Plat, Stud. p. 200-10, 
an enquiry too little considered by 
the uncompromising partisans ot 
Aristotelian accounts of Plato s- 


and-Small, as the element of Ideas, differently from 
the Matter of the Tinia?us. a8 Even the defenders of 
Aristotle are forced to admit that he mistook the im 
port of Plato s doctrine on several essential points." 
It is true that Plato s disciples themselves acknow- 

98 Phys. iv. 2 ; vide notes 39 and 
9. I no longer appeal to Metaph. 
i. 6, 987 b. 33, as the words there, 
o> T&V TrpLirruv, are too vague in 
their meaning, and Bonitz ad loc. 
has proved that my former refer 
ence of them to the Ideal numbers 
is unlikely. Probably these words, 
for which no suitable sense can be 
found, are an interpolation. 

>9 Weisse ad Arist. Phys. p. 448 : 
It is remarkable that none of his 
followers, not even Aristotle, un 
derstood the meaning of this theory 
[of the derivation of Ideas], and its 
full signification. Ibid. p. 472 
sqq. the identification of the Great- 
and-Small with space (consequently 
with the v\rj of the Timaeus) is 
mentioned among Aristotle s mis 
understandings. Stallbaum (Jahn a 
Jahrb. 1842, xxxv. 1, 65 sq.) admits 
that Aristotle may have mistaken 
the true sense of the Platonic 
doctrines, that not unfrequently 
he attributes to them a meaning 
which is in direct contradiction to 
Plato s--, and particularly that the 
objective being of the Ideas is 
falsely converted into the v\tj and 
to some extent into a material 
substance, though at the Fame 
time it must be conceded that 
Aristotle has not foisted anything 
foreign on Plato, but has actually 
transmitted to us accounts, by 
means of which it becomes possible 
to comprehend and partly fill up 
Plato s .scientific foundation of the 
doctrine of Ideas. But is not this 
attributing a meaning quite con- 

tradictory to Plato s true meaning, 
foisting something foreign on 
Plato? Stallbaum (p. 64) consoles 
himself with, the fact that Plato 
applied the expression the one 
and the infinite to the Ideas as 
well as to sensible things. But 
his meaning was indisputably not 
that the content or the matter is 
the same in all and everything. 
In the Ideas the infinite is the 
being of the Ideas in their indeter 
minate state, which is without any 
determined predicate and therefore 
cannot be thought of or known by 
itself particularly ; ; but with 
sensible things the case is quite 
different ; for in them the in 
finite is the unregulated and inde 
terminate principle of the sensible 
matter. This whole defence 
amounts, as we see, to the fact that 
Aristotle made use of Platonic ex 
pressions, but probably attributed 
to them a sense completely con 
tradictory to their real meaning. 
The philological correctness of the 
word is maintained, where the real 
point is its true meaning in the ex 
position of philosophical opinions. 
Brandis does not go quite so far ; 
he concedes, that though Aris 
totle cannot misunderstand any of 
Plato s fundamental doctrine, he 
has failed to notice in his criticism 
the principles and aim of the 
theories, and has regarded their 
mythical dress or complement not 
as such, but as integral parts of 
doctrine. This grants nearly all 
that we require. 


1 edged the doctrines attributed to him by Aristotle, 100 
but it is equally true that in so doing they departed 
from true Platonism, and, especially, almost forgot the 
theory of Ideas, confounding it with the Pythagorean 
doctrine of Numbers. 101 It is far more unlikely that 
Plato should himself have applied his theory in a way 
that was virtually its destruction, than that his dis 
ciples, Aristotle among the rest, should, in the same 
manner, and for the same reasons, have departed from 
its original meaning. These reasons lay, on the one 
side, in the obscurity and discontinuity of the Platonic 
doctrine ; and, on the other, in the dogmatic appre 
hension by his followers of indefinite and often merely 
figurative expressions. With this not only Speusippus 
and Xenocrates, but Aristotle himself, judging from 
his procedure in other cases, may be charged. It is 
quite possible that Plato in his later years may have 
recognised more clearly than at first the gap left by 
his system between the Ideas and Actuality ; and he 
may have attempted to fill it up more definitely. He 
may, therefore, have pointed out that even in Ideas 
there is an infinite plurality, and designated this 
plurality by the name of the Unlimited or the Great- 
aiid-Small. He may have observed that as sensible 
things are ordered according to numerical proportions, 
so Ideas in a certain sense might be called Numbers. 
He may, further, have derived particular numbers from 

KKI Brand! s, i. a. 322. TJ 0tAocro0ta, (f)a.<TxbvTuv r&v 

101 The evidence for this is given X<*P iV ai rd de?v Trpayfj.aTVa6ai, and 

l:elo\v; as a preliminary I may the expressions of Metaph. xiii. 9, 

merely refer to Metaph. i. 0, 992 1080 a. 2, xiv. 2, 1088 b. 34. 
a. 3: yeyove TO. /naOrj/JLara ro?s vvv 



Unity and Plurality, the universal elements of Ideas, 102 
and lie may have reduced certain concepts to numbers. 103 

12 Vide p. 279, 145, 140 ; and 
note 83 of the present chapter. 

[):! Arist. J)e An. i. 2,404 b. IS : 
in accordance with the principle 
that like is known through like, 
we conclude that the soul must be 
composed out of the elements of 
nil things, inasmuch as it could 
not otherwise know everything. 
This was the doctrine of Empe- 
docles ; and of Plato in the 
Timreus : 0/xo/wj 8e Kai ev rots irepi 

6 [ TO c3oz/ f airr??y TIJS TOV 
? iotas Kai TOV Trpwrou fJ.riKOvs 
TrXdrous Kai (3ddovs, Ta 5e dXXa 
8e Kai #XXwj, vovv 

TO f, TriffTTJ/J.TJV S Ta 8>JO. 

y&P < ev TOV 8e TOV 
fTrnrc8ov lipidjuov So^av alffdricrii de 
TOV TOV ffTepeov oi fj.fv yap dpi6/j.oi 
Ta 6to?7 ai/Ta Kai at dpxai \fyoi>Tc 

tlffi 5 K TUV CTTOl^et wZ . KpivfTai 

5^ TO. irpdy/naTa TO. p.ev i>$, TO. 8 

f TTtCTTT^UT/, TO, 5f 86i;"r) TO, 5 alffd^fffL 

fiSij o oi dpi6/j.oi OVTOI TU>V wpay- 
V-dTuv. Metaph. xiii. 8, 1(>84 a. 
12 : aXXa fiTjv el fji^xp 1 - TTJS 5e/id5os 
6 dpid/jLos, &<nrep rti/es <j>a<n, irp&Tov Taxu e7ri\d\l/ei rd (iSrj- olov 

L ZffTlV T] T/)tds aVTodvOpWITOS, TiJ 

^arat dpid/j.6s avToiiriro<i. Still, it 
does not follow that Plato him 
self or one of his scholars referred 
the Idea of man to the number 
three ; this is simply an example 
chosen by Aristotle, to show the 
absurdity of the Platonic identifi 
cation of Ideas and numbers. Nor 
must we conclude too much from 
the passage of the De Anima. As 
has been already shown, vol. i. 
349, from this and other passages, 
Plato derived the line from the 
number two, superficies from three, 

and body from four. He compares 
reason with unity, knowledge with 
duality, &c., and he therefore calls 
the former the unit and the latter 
the number two, &c., following 
out this Pythagorean symbolism, 
whilst to each act of cognition he 
assigns a higher number, further 
removed from unity, belonging to 
sensible and corporeal things, in 
proportion as the act of cognition 
is further removed from the single 
intuition of the Idea and turns to 
the manifold and corporeal (cf. 
p. 219, 147). Finally he asserts 
that the Idea of living Jteing (on 
which cf. Tim. 30, c. 39, E 28 c.) 
is composed of the Idea of the unit 
and the Ideas of the corporeal, and 
the rest of living beings 

is to be supplied with &\\a), each 
in its kind, are composed out of 
corresponding elements. By the 
d"XXa faa we may either under 
stand actual living beings, or more 
probably (according to Tim. 30, 
c. _ 39), the Ideas of separate 
living beings comprehended under 
the Idea of the avTofaov. So much 
may be concluded from the state 
ment of Aristotle. Everything 
besides is his own addition. "We 
cannot therefore assert that Plato 
himself compared reason with 
unity, reflection with duality, &c., 
because he believed the soul capa 
ble of knowing everything, only if 
it had in itsi-lf in the numbers the 
elements of all things. Aristotle 
is the first who propounded that 
theory and combined it with the 
further determination that the 
numbers are the principles of 
things. We must not attribute 
to the statements about the avro- 


He may, lastly, have ceased to insist upon the difference 
between the world of sense and that of Ideas, side by 
side with the analogy between them. All this would 
be quite possible without belying his main philosophic 
position, and Aristotle may so far have transmitted to 
us his propositions on these subjects with literal cor 
rectness. But it is incredible that Plato should have- 
intended in these propositions to annul the distinction 
between the Unlimited in space, and that plurality 
which is also in the Ideas. If his disciple so under 
stood them, he must be charged, not indeed with false 
witness as to his master s words, but with a view of 
them that is too external, too dogmatic, too little 
observant of the spirit and interconnection of the Pla 
tonic philosophy. 104 

We must then abandon the hope of finding in Plato 

the object for which Aristotle consider . this treatise to be the 

used it. These seem rather to same as that on the GooiU I can- 

have sprung from the considera- not here enter further into the 

tion, that just as living beings are treatise on the Soul, nor the expla- 

composed of soul and bodv, there nation?, somewhat different from 

must also be in the Idea a some- my own, to be found in Trendelen- 

thing corresponding to the soul, burg (Plat, de id. et num. doctr. 

and a something corresponding to 85 sqq.; in Arist. de an. 220-234) ;: 

the body. But as Aristotle usually Brandis (perd. Arist. libr. 48-G1 ; 

looks for the most remote traces of lUiein. Mus. ii. 1828, 5G8 sqq.) ;. 

every doctrine in his predecessors, Bonitz (Disputatt. Plat. 79 sqq.); 

he recognises the doctrine of the Stallbaum (Plat. Farm. 280 sq). I 

soul including all principles in Susemihl (Genet, Darst. ii.543 sq.).. 

itself (as necessary to its universal Cf. my Plat. Stud. 227 sq., 271 

power of cognition), wherever it is sqq. on the subject ; it is unneces- 

composed of the most general ele- * ary here to discuss some vana- 

ments of things. (The explana- tions in the present exposition from 

tions of Simplicius, De An. 7 loc. my earlier views. 
cit, and Philoponus, De An. C 2, 101 Amongst others who express 

m. sqq., of the passage irepl \fsvxv themselves to this effect are Bonitz,. 

is not from the Aristotelian treatise Arist. Metaph. ii. 94; Susemihl, 

TT. 0tXo<ro0i a5, as Simpl. himself Genet. Entw. 541 sqq., 550 sqq.; 

gives us to understand : still, both Ribbing. Plat. Ideenl. i. 390. 


a derivation of the Sensible from the Idea; and this / 
is to acknowledge that his system is involved in a con- 
tradiction, inextricable from its own point of view ; a 
contradiction already latent in the concept of Ideas, but 
which only at this stage becomes fully apparent. The 
Idea, according to Plato, is to contain all reality, yet at 
the same time there must belong to the phenomenon 
not merely the existence accorded to it by reason of 
the Idea, but, together with this, a kind of existence 
that cannot be derived from the Idea. The Idea is to 
be therefore on the one hand the sole reality, and sub 
stance of the phenomenon ; on the other, it is to exist 
for itself, it is not to enter into the plurality and 
vicissitude of sensible objects, and not to require the 
latter for its realization. But if the phenomenon is 
not a moment of the Idea itself, if a Being belongs to 
it which is not by reason of the Idea, then the Idea has 
not all Being in itself; and though that which dis 
tinguishes the phenomenon from it may be defined as 
Non-being, it is not in truth absolute Unreality, other 
wise it could not have the power of circumscribing the 
Being of the Idea in the phenomenon, and of separat 
ing it in Divisibility and Becoming. Neither is the 
phenomenon in that case absolutely immanent in the 
Idea, for that which makes it a phenomenon cannot be 
derived from the Idea. Plato, in his original design, 
unmistakably intended to represent the Idea as the 
sole "Reality, and all other Being as a Being contained 
m ihe Idea. He was unable, however, to carry out this 
design : i, L : ,j tempting to do so, he comes to the conclu 
sion that the Idea has in the phenomenon a limit, a 


something impenetrable, external to itself. The cause 
of this lies in the abstract view of the Idea as an abso 
lutely existent, self-completed substance, which does 
not require the phenomenon for its realization. In 
excluding the phenomenon from itself, the Idea as such 
receives limits from the phenomenon ; the Idea remains 
on one side, the phenomenon on the other, and the pre 
supposed immanence of both is transformed into their 
dualism and the transcendency of the Idea. Here there 
is certainly a contradiction : the fault, however, does 
not lie in our representation, but in the subject of it. 
It was inevitable that so defective a beginning should 
be refuted by its result ; and in acknowledging this con 
tradiction, we state only the objective matter of fact 
and the internal historical connection ; for it was this 
very contradiction by which Aristotle took hold of the 
Platonic principle and developed it into a new form 
of thought, 105 

10:5 The case, of course, is ul- tirely abolished (p. 154-166 sq.). 
tered if Teichmuller (Stud. z. Plato s system is a Pantheistic 
Gesch. d. Begr. 280 sqq.) is right H.ylozoism and Monism (p. 254)j 
in seeing in the above statement We may certainly call for proot ot 
the most striking indirect proof such assertions, in the face, not 
of the incorrectness of a view only of all previous expositions of 
which leads to such inextricable Platonic philosophy, but of llatos 
contradictions. He would escape own enunciations in a contrary 
this contradiction by representing direction. But Teichmuller scarcely 
Plato as a pure Pantheist. To use seeks to give us one. We can see 
Teichmiiller s own rather infelici- plainly from our investigations, as 
tons phraseology, Plato must be far as they have hitherto gone, that 
understood in an Athanasian, not there is an element in Plato s sys- 
au Avian sense. I.e. the Intelligi- tern, which, taken separately, might 
ble forms only the immanent soul lead to Teichmiiller s position ; but 
of the Becoming, the world is .the we also see that it is counter- 
continuous birth of the Deity (who balanced by another, which pre- 
is at once its father and son), and vents it from becoming dominant, 
so the transcendence of the Idea as If we keep exclusively to the posi- 
opposed to the phenomenon is en- tion that things are what they are 


As with the origin of the world of Sense, so with 
regard to its subsistence. Plato is as little able to 
explain satisfactorily the co-existence of the Idea and 
the phenomenon, as the derivation of the one from the 
other. It is perfectly comprehensible from his point 
of view that the Idea should have room beside the phe 
nomenon, for no specific reality is to belong to the 
latter, by which the reality of the Idea could be cir 
cumscribed. But it is, on that very account, all the 
less easy to understand how the phenomenon finds 
room beside the Idea how an existence can be as 
cribed to it, if all reality lies in the Idea. Plato here 
summons to his aid the theory of participation : things 
are all that they are only by participating in the 
Idea. luc But as Aristotle complains, 1 " 7 he has scarcely 

only through the presence of the ignoring one-half of the Platonic 

Ideas, Teichmuller s conclusions doctrine. The relation to the world 

are unavoidable. _ If we consider assigned by Teichmiillcr (p. 24o 

that Plato s doctrine of Ideas arose sqq.) to the Platonic Deity is rather 

out of the sharp distinction be- attributed by Plato to the "World - 

tween the Constant and the Chang- soul. The World-soul is inserted 

ing, the immutable Existence and between the Ideas and the pheno- 

the mutable contradictory pheno- nienal world, because such a rela- 

mcnon, and that it never enabled tion was unsuitable to the former, 

him to explain the latter from the 1CM5 Pann. 129 A, 130 E ; Phiedo 

former, we are forced to allow a 100 C sqq. : Symp. 211 B; Rep. v! 

residuum of Reality in things 470 A ; Euthyd. 301 A &c. This 

not derivable from the Idea ; and relation is expressed by /xeraXoyu- 

the world of sense appears as a jSdveiv, yuer^ftr, yii^0ety, Trapovcria 
second world, with a Reality of its 

. own, as opposed to the world of 107 Metaph. i. <;, 987 b. 9 : ac- 

Concepts, which latter, according cording to Plato the things of sense 

to the original view of the doctrine are named after the Ideas (i.e. they 

of Ideas, is yet the sole Reality, receive their attributes from them! : 

The^ Ideas have passed from being /card fj.tdeit> yap elvat TO. TroXXd T&I> 

the immanent Existence in things avvuvvnuv rots dSeffiv (the many 

into something transcendental. It which are synonymous with the 

B the part of historical investiga- Ideas exist only through participa- 

:ion_to grapple with such a contra- tion in the Ideas ; cf. Plat. Stud 

liction, but not to remove it by 234 ; Schwegler and Bonitz ad 


made an attempt to determine that concept accu 
rately ; and in all that he says on the subject, this 
perplexity is clearly to be noted. He refers indeed to 
some of the difficulties involved in the notion of parti 
cipation, while pointing out the way to solve them ; 10 
but the main question how the one essence can com 
bine with that which is absolutely divided, the perma 
nent with that which is restlessly changing, the uncon- 
tained in space with the. contained, the wholly real 
with the non-existent, to form the unity of the pheno 
menon, and how they are mutually related in this 
combination is left unanswered. It is only evident 
that even in his most mature period, however settled 
might be his conviction as to the participation of 
things in Ideas, he could find no adequate formula for 
it. 109 Nor is it any real explanation, to represent the 
Ideas as the patterns which are imitated in pheno 
mena. 110 The objection, 111 that the likeness of the 
copy to the archetype would only be possible by their 

loc. ). TT]v Se fj-ed^iv rouVo,ua (JLOVOV that matter in and by itself is a vot}- 

v oi yap TLv0a.yopei.oi TOV in a certain sense, but they are 

a OVTO. 0acrip emu rdv dpi- to be interpreted in the light of 

nXdrwi 5 fie#eei, rovfO/J-a 50 C. 

Mtra^aX^. T> H&TOI ye pMc^ no Thcaet. 176 ; Crat. 389 A sq.; 

?} TT]v /uil/jirjffw, TJTLS a.v ci ?7 r&v eldutis, Parm. 132 C sqq. ; Phredr. 250 A ; 

d(f>e?<rav fv KOIV$ frTeiv. Ibid. c. Rep. \i. 500 E ; ix. 592 B ; Tim. 

9, 991 a. 20 (vide p. 266, 112). 28 A sqq., 30 C sqq., 48 E. The 

108 Vide supra, p. 316 sq. attributes of things are the copy 

109 Cf Pksedo, 100 D (see prc- of the Ideas, and so far, Plato says, 
ceding chapter, note 109). Tim. (Tim. 50 C, 51 B) the corporeal 

50 C vide 299, 14): the forms admits in itself the /n/^/uara of the 
which Center into matter bear the Ideas ; and as the things themselves 
impress of the Ideas rpbirov rivb thereby become like the Ideas, they 
ov<r<t>pa.<rTov /ecu 6avfj.acrT6i>. Ibid, can be directly called imitations of 

51 A : the basis of all determined them (jcu/^aTa), as Tim. 49 A \ 
bodies is an eiSos auopffiov, Tra^Sex^s, cf. 30 C. 

jueraXa/x./Scij OJ 5 aTropwrard Trrj TOV ll Parm. loc. cit. 
VOTJTOV the latter words do not state 


common participation in an Idea separate from them 
both, is easily removed; 112 but the question of Aris 
totle 113 as to the efficient Cause which imitates* things 
from Ideas is much more serious. Here Plato, as far 
as his philosophic concepts are concerned, leaves us 
entirely at fault ; in place of scientific explanation, we 
have the popular notion of the Framer of the world, 
who fashions Matter like a human artist, only with the 
wondrous might of a God. ^According to Plato, the 
Ideas are indeed the archetypes of material things, but 
they are at the same time their essence and their 
reality. Things are only copied from Ideas in so far 
as they participate in them. Consequently, if their 
participation in Ideas remains unexplained, this want 
cannot be supplied by what is said of their being 
imitated from the Idea. So far then as the things of 
sense are the manifestation and copy of the Idea, they 
must be determined by the Idea ; so far as they have 
in Matter a specific principle in themselves, they are 
at the same time determined by Necessity,; for though 
the world is the work of Reason, 114 it cannot be denied 
that in its origin there was, side by side with Reason, 
another blindly acting cause ; and even the Creator 
could not make his work absolutely perfect, but onlv 
as good as was permitted by the nature of the Finite. 115 

- Vide supra, p. 317 sq. ^wairiuv, o?s 6ebs virrjpeTovo-i xy- 

3 Vide p. 2(36, 112. TOLL rty TOV dplvrov Kara rb S 

114 Cf., besides the following note, (this has occurred p. 30 A) 

Soph. 235 C sq.; Pliileb. 28 U sqq.; airoTe\uv. 4(> E: Xe/cr^a 

Laws, x. 897 B sqq., and supra, (p&repa TO, TUV airtuv yevrj, 

preceding chapter, notes 111, 158, 5 Saai /*er& vov KO.\UV Kal d 

r 5-rj/j.iovpyol Kal ocrai /jLovudelo-ai <f>pov- 

a Tim. 48 A (vide supra, note ^creus rb rvx^v &TO.KTOI> e/cdororf 
6). 4G C: raOr ovv iravra. <rrt rCiv tS-epydfovTai. 56 C, &c. ; vide fol- 



Reason has no higher law in its working than the Idea 
of the Good, that highest Idea from which all others 
arise, and by which they are ruled: material things, 
as the work of Reason, must be explained from the Idea 
of the Good, that is, teleologically. That in them 
which resists this explanation, is to be regarded as the 
product of mechanical causes the work of natural 
necessity. These two kinds of causes are in no way 
to be compared : the specific and essential grounds of 
material things are final causes ; the physical grounds 

lowing note. Cf. further the quo 
tations in the last chapter, and 
Polit. 273 C (TO Trjs irdXaids avap- 
fjioarias 7rd0o?, which by its growth 
in the world left to itself, intro 
duces a continual decrease of the 
good, and an increase of the bad, 
and would bring the world to dis 
solution if it were not for the in 
terference of the divinity in the 

&TTipOS T07TOS T7JS a.VOlJ.OLOT ^TO^]. It 

will be shown later on how this 
gives rise to a bad World-soul in 
the Laws. Still, Plutarch s opinion 
(Procreat. Anim. in Tim. C 5 sqq.\ 
which is followed by Stallbaum, Plat. 
Polit. 100 ; Martin, Etudes i. 355, 
369, and Uebcrweg, llhem. Mus. ix. 
76, 79, viz. that Plato in the earlier 
writings derived the bad and evil 
from this and not from matter, is 
not correct, even if, with Stallbaum 
the one World-soul, quern renim 
divinarum invasit inciiri(t, is put in 
the place of the bad World-soul. 
The Politicus, 269 D sq., derives the 
confused condition of the world 
from the nature of the corporeal ; 
and again, 273 B, we find : rov- 
TCOV 8t (the declension from com 
pleteness in the world) aur$ TO 
<T(i)fj.orofiOS Tr)S ffvyKpdffeus 

071 TTOXX^S r)l> fJLTX ol/ aTtt^l dS TTptV 

ei s TOV vvv K6<T/J.ov d0t/ce <70T{. The 
Timseus makes no mention of a 
bad World-soul ; but (46 E) we 
find express mention of the corpo 
real (47 E), matter and material 
causes are spoken of as TO, 5i dvdy- 
Krjs yiyv6fj,va, TO TTJS irXcuw/t&ip 
eTSos curias ; 52 D sq., to matter 
are ascribed heterogeneous powers 
and an unregulated motion, before 
the formation of the world ; where 
as from the soul are derived only 
order and proportion. The visible, 
to which the soul (ace. to 37 A) 
does not belong, is represented as 
ordered by God; the soul as the 
cause of regulated movement is 
formed not from an older unregu 
lated soul, but from the Ideal and 
corporeal substance. Phaedr. 245 
D sq.: the world directing soul, 
not the unregulated, is unbecome. 
It is therefore no misunderstanding 
of Plato s doctrine when Arist. 
Phys. i. 9, 192 a. 15, speaks of its with reference to the 
Platonic matter, and Eudemus (ace. 
to Plat. loc. cit. 7, 3) accuses Plato 
of calling the same principle at one 
time MTrip /ecu Tidrivr), and at another 
representing it as atVt a /cat 
KO.K&V. Cf. Steinhart, vi. 95. 


are to be considered as merely concurrent causes, or, 
more precisely, means to Reason that is working to an 
end. lltj But still they are not so powerless as to be 
altogether obedient instruments of Reason. We have 
already seen that Matter in spite of its Non-being, 
hinders and disfigures the Idea in the phenomenon ; 
here, Plato speaks of a resistance of Necessity to Reason 
a resistance which yields only partially to the per- 

IM I hsedo, 90 A sqq. (cf. p. 10, 
18), Socrates blames the Physicists, 
particularly Anaxagoras, because 
they wish to explain all things 
merely out of air, lether, wind, 
water, and the like, instead of de 
monstrating their proper reason 
teleologically ; for if mind (vovs) 
is the creator of the world, it 
must have arranged everything in 
the best possible way : e/c 5?j ToO 
Xo^oii TOVTOV ovStv dXXo o~KQireiv 
irpocnrjKii dvdpwTTtt} . . . dXX ?} TO 
dptffTov Kal TO /SeXTicTTO* . Having 
learnt Anaxagoras doctrine of />oOy, 
he hoped that with regard to the 
formation of the earth, for instance, 
and all other points, he would 
eKdiT]yri<Te<r0at TT\V aiTiav Kal Trjv 
avdyK-r)i>, \eyovTa TO a^Lvov Kal 

. Kal ei /j.oi TavTa dirocpaivoiTo 
irapea Kevda /j.rjv coy ovKtTi Trodeabfj.e~ 
vos am aj ciXXo ciooy, &c. In this 
expectation, however, he was en 
tirely deceived; Anaxagoras, like 
all the rest, spoke merely of phy 
sical, not final, causes. This pro 
cedure, however, is no better than 
if one were to say, Socrates acts in 
all things reasonably, and then 
mentioned his sinews and bones as 
the reason of his acts. dXX curta 
fttv TO, TOiavTa KaXelv \iav &TOTTOV 
(I te Tty Xe 70i OTL avfv TOV TOiavTa 
?X fiV - OVK av olds T rjv TroifTf 

TO, bb^avTa /AOL, dXtjdT] av \eyoi cos 
fj.fvTot did TavTa. TrottD a TTOIW Kal 
TavTa vi>3 TrpaTTU, dXX ov Trj TOV 
j3e\Ti<rTov aipeo~ei, Tro\\r) av Kal 
fj.aKpd pad\ /j.ia irj TOV \6yov. TO 
yap /J.TJ 5ic\ffdai olbv T elvai OTI 

ClXXo /J,tV Ti IffTl TO aiTlOV Tlj) 6vTL, 

a\\o S eKfivo dvev ov TO aiTiov OVK 
av TTOT d-rj OLTIOV, &c. (cf. p. 202, 
109). Tim. 40 C (vide preceding 
note). 40 ]) : TOV 8e vov Kal iiriGT-r}- 
fJ-f)S pao~Ti]v dvdyKTf Tay T^y ^/m.d>po- 
vos (f>v<Tb)s aiVi ay irp&Tas p.f.Tabnjj- 
KUV, oval, be UTT d\\uv ph KIVOV- 

yiyvovTai, devrepas, &c. (precedin< r 
note). 48 A (vide p. 227, 8), 08 E (at 
the end of the review of the phy 
sical distinctions and causes of 
things) : TauTa 77 irdvTa TbT 

Te Kal dpiffTOv dr)fj.Lovpybs ev TOIS yt- 
yvoptvois Trapeydfj-Pavev . . . xpu 
/J.CVQS fj.fv Taty irepl TavTa amots 

ev Train TOIS yiyvofjifroti avTos Sib 
077 XP^I ^ v ctiVi ay fidf] 8iopi^ffdat TO 
jj.v dvayKatov, TO 8 deiov, Kal TO 
fj.v delov v dtraat. {IJTCIV KTrj&eus 
eveKa evdaifj-ovos fiiov, Kad 6<rov ?;- 
P.UV TI <pv<ris fvSfx^Taiy TO d dvay- 

ttvev TOVTWV ov SvvaTa avTa 
e oiy <rirov8do[jiev, fj.6va 
oi)5 aO Xa/3etv oi S dtXXws 

z 2 

, 540 


suasion of Reason, and so prevented the Creator from 
producing a thoroughly perfect work. 117 In the same 
way, as we shall presently find, 118 it is the body which 
hinders man from pure knowledge, which calls forth in 
him evil desires, and moral disorder of every kind. 
Aristotle, indeed, plainly says that Plato held Matter 
as the cause of evil. 119 To comprehend both causes in 
one to recognise in natural Necessity the proper work 
of Reason, and the positive medium (not merely the 
limitation and negative condition) of its working is 
impossible to him, in this dualism. 120 But his tele 
ology preserves in the main the external character of 
the Socratic view of Nature, though the end of Nature 
is no longer exclusively the welfare of men, but the 
Good, Beauty, Proportion, and Order. 121 The natural 
world and the forces of Nature are thus related to 

117 Tim. 48 A (supra, p. 227, 
S). Ibid. 56 C (on the forma 
tion of the elements) : nal STJ teal 
rb TUV ava.\oy<.&v . . . rbv 0ebv, 
OTTT; -rrep 77 TT}S dvdyK-rjs e/coO<ra Tret- 
adeiffd re 0wris vtre iKe, ravrri irdvTt] 
8t a.Kpifieia.3 a.TroTe\e<r8et(T&i> i>ir 
avrov ^vv7jp/j.6crOaL ravra ava\byov. 
Cf. Theophr. Metnph. 33 (vol. i. 
314, 3). 

118 Pp. 227, 241 sq. 

119 Metaph. i. 6, end, it is said 
of Plato, Zn 5k ryv rov e5 Kal TO- 
KO.K&S alrLav TO?S crTOixetoiT? (the 
unit and matter) o.irtwKev eKare- 
pois eKaTepov, and Pliys. i. 9, 192 a. 
14 Aristotle, as already remarked, 
speaks in Plato s sense of the KO.KO- 
iroibv of matter. 

] - Cf., also, Rep. ii. 379 C: oi)5 
&pa, ty 5 e7cb, 6 Oebs, cireiS?) ayaObs* 
&v etri ai rtos, ws ol TroXXol 

Xeyova tv, d\V 6\lyuv rots dv- 

TroXXa; yap eXdrrw ra.ya.6a T&V 
K.aK&v TJJUUV Kal r&v JJL^V ayad&v 
ovdeva &\\ov airiareov ruv 5e KO.K&V 
dXX firra Set ^retv ra airia (by 
which primarily, though not exclu 
sively, the human will is to be un 
derstood). Polit. 273 I): fffwcpa. 
fjL^v rdyada, Tro\\T)v 5e rr/v T&V tv- 
avriwv Kpacnv eTreyKepavin /Ji.evo$ (6- 
K6a/j.os}. Theset. 170 A (infra, 
chap. x. note 6). 

lal Cf. Phileb. 28 C sq., 30 A 
sqq., 64 C sqq. ; Phaedo, loc. cit., 
Tim. 29 E sq. In other passages 
the reference to the interests of 
mankind comes forward more 
strongly ; particularly in the last 
part of the Timseus, the contents 
of which naturally lead us to ex 
pect this. 


consequences external to themselves : 122 hence there was 
a special necessity that Plato should here use not only 
personification, but mythical language, with regard to 
efficient causes. Aristotle was the first to conceive 
the notion of inner activity working to an and ; and 
even he leaves much to be desired in his scientific view 
of this activity, and still more in its application. 

Although, however, Plato did not succeed in over 
coming the dualism of the idea and the phenomenon, 
he yet attempts, while presupposing this dualism, to 
point out the middle terms by means of which the Idea 
and the phenomenon are combined. And this he per 
ceives in mathematical proportions, or the World- 

III. The World-soul. As God desired that the 
world should be framed in the best possible manner, 
says the Timaeus, 124 He considered that nothing unin 
telligent, taken as a whole, could ever be better than 
the intelligent ; and that intelligence (vovg) could not 
exist in anything which was devoid of soul. For this 
reason He put the intelligence of the world into a soul, 

82 Cf. on this the quotations in 365 sq. 396 ; Trend!. Plat, de id. 

note 116, particularly Phsedo, 98 et num. doctr. 52, 95; Bonitz, Dis- 

B sqq. putatt. Plat. 47 sqq .; Martin 

O-* T^ 1 1 /~\ ,1 / , n m-* .1 ~ . , * A . 

. . . /J sq. - 

tem (1852), p. 18 sq.; Brandis, De gus, ii. Snpplementbl. (1863), p. 211 

peril. Arist, libr. 64, Khein. Mus. sqq. ; Wolilstein, Mat. ond Welt- 

ii. 1828, p. 579; (Jr.-rom. Phil. ii. seele, Marl). 1863; Wohlrab, Quid 

a. 361 sqq.; Stallbaum, Kchola crit. PI. de An. raundi elementis docue- 

et hist. sup. loco Tim. 1837 ; rit, Drcsd. 1872. 

Plat. Tim. p. 134 sqq. ; Hitter, ii. 124 30 B; cf. supra, p. 228, 171. 



and the soul in the world as into a body. He prepared 
the soul as follows. Before He had formed the corporeal 
elementSj He compounded out of the indivisible and 
self-identical substance and also out of the divisible and 
corporeal, a third nature intermediate between them. 
Having mingled in this substance the Same and the 
Other, he divided the whole according to the cardinal 
numbers of the harmonic and astronomical systems, 125 

- 35 A: T /;? ct//,e/>tcrrou /cat ciet 
Kara ravra ex "*}* ovaia^ /cat TTJS 
aft TTfpl ra erayiara yiyvo/nfrys fi-epi- 
ffTrjs rpirov e d/j,(potv ev /wecry ^vvt- 
KepaffaTo ovcrias 5os TT}S re rai roG 
(ptiffcus av \Trepi\ /cat TTJS darepov, 
/cat Kara ravra ^vv^ffTrjcrev ev yU&ry 
rou re d/j.epovs O.VT&V /cat TOV Kara 
TO. (rciywara fj.epiaTov. /cai rpia Aa/Scl^ 
ai Ta &VTO. ffvv e/cepdcraro ets filav TTO.V- 
ra ISfav, TTJV dartpov <pv<ru> vvp.iK- 
TOV o$<rav els ravrov ^vvapfj.bTTWi 
oi^crtas /cat 

e/c rpiuv 

TOVTO fjioipas Scras TrpocrTJKe Stc^eiuer, 
(KdffT7]i> 5e e/c re TO.VTOV /cat Oarepov 
tcai T^J oiWas /J.e/j.LjfJ.ev rjv, &c. In 
the interpretation suggested in the 
text, I have gone on the lately 
universal supposition that the un 
meaning 7re/u, here enclosed in 
brackets, is to be struck out. On 
the other hand, I believe that we 
must retain the ad before it, which 
Stallbaum ad loc. changes into 5?, 
and Bonitz, Hermann (in his edi 
tion), and Susemihl agree in wish 
ing to remove, not merely because 
this is the easiest explanation of 
the insertion of irtpi. (from the pre 
ceding a 5 Trept), but because the 
separation of the ravrbv and Bdrc- 
pov from the d^piarov and the 
liepiffrbv, thus expressed is really 
Platonic. Although the ravTov is 

connected with the Divided, and 
the ddrepov with the Undivided, 
they in no way coincide ; both 
pairs of concepts have a separate 
import, and in their combination 
give two classifications which cross 
each other. The ravrbv and ddre- 
pov both occur in the Indivisible 
and the Divisible, in the Idea and 
the Corporeal, and arc found in 
intellectual as well as sensible 
knowledge (Tim. 37 A sq. ; Soph. 
255 C sqq., vide pp. 250, 278). 
The soul is indebted to the d/j.e- 
purrov for its power of knowing 
the Ideal, to the /j.eptffTbv for its 
power of knowing the sensible, to 
the ravrbv for its ability to conceive 
(in sensible and Ideal alike) the 
relation of identity, to the ffdrepov 
for its ability (equally in both) to 
conceive the relation of difference 
(see on this point Tim. loc. cit. to 
gether with the elucidation of the 
passage later on in this chapter. 
Sensible perception is here repre 
sented as proceeding from the KVK- 
Xos darfyov, thought from the /ctf/c- 
Xos rayroD; but this does not prove 
that the Bdrepov is identical with 
the alad-rjTbv, and the ravrbv with 
the vQT]rbv\ the circle of the ravrbv 
is, according to p. 30 C, that in 
which the fixed stars move, the 
circle of the Qdrepov, with its seven- 



and formed from the entire compound, by a longitu 
dinal bisection, the circle of the heaven of fixed stars, 
and that of the planets. 120 

In this representation the mythical and imaginative 
element is at once apparent. The division and spread 
ing out of the World-soul in space, prior to the forma 
tion of the corporeal ; its origin from a chemical 
admixture, the entirely material treatment even of the 
Immaterial, can never have been seriously intended by 
Plato ; otherwise he would deserve all the censure, 

fold divisions, that in which the 
planets move. Each of these cir 
cles, however, according to 35 B, 
cf. note 137, is composed in all 
its parts out of the ravrbv, the 
Bdrepov, and oi cria). In order to 
express this different import of the 
two pairs, Plato keeps them apart 
in his exposition. Ueberweg cor 
rectly points out, p. 41 sq. , that 
the substance of the World-soul is 
formed by a kind of chemical mix 
ture out of the a^epLVTov and the 
/j.pi<TToi> : both are completely 
blended and no longer appear in it 
separately. The ravrbv and ddre- 
pov do appear separately, both ac 
cording to the passage before us, and 
37 A. Only these two are men 
tioned as parts of the World-soul, 
together with ovcria, the Indivisible 
and the Divisible are merely ele 
ments of ovffia. (Cf. Martin, i. 
358 sqq. ; Steinhart, vi. 243 ; on 
the other hand, Snsemihl, Wohlrab, 
and others consider with Kickh that 
the ravrbv and 6drepov arc identi 
cal in signification with the /J.epi- 
arov and a/j.epi<rToi>. ) The genitives 
TT?S d/Jt,fpi<TTov -/xe/HOT??? appear to 
me to depend on the following ev 
; the genitive T?;S re TO.VTOV 

0u<r., &c. on e: so that the sense 
is: Between the divisible and indi 
visible substance he mixed a third, 
composed out of the two, and fur 
ther also (aC) composed out of the 
nature of the TO.VTOV and 6drepov, 
and formed it so as to stand mid 
way between the indivisible part 
of them, and the part which can be 
divided in bodies. Instead of TOV 
re d/j-epovs avTuiv Steinhart loc. cit. 
would read, with Proclus in Tim. 
187 E, TOV re d/ze/>oCs O.VTOV ; but 
in the present passage Plato had no 
occasion to speak of the Indivisible 
Ko.6 aura. Wohlrab, p. 10, on the 
other hand, would refer the airroi* 
to the Tpirov oixrias etSos ; but it 
is hard to see how this could be 
placed between the adepts and tho 
fj.pi<TTbi> in it, consequently between 
its own elements. Susemihl s conjec 
ture (Philol. Anzeiger, v. 672), that 
aiVwi is to be changed into dvrb. is 
more likely. 1 cannot here enter 
more fully into the various inter 
pretations of the present passage, 
given most fully by Susemihl in 
the Philologus, and by Wohlrab. 

1 - (i Further details on this point, 
p. 212. 


whicli Aristotle, 127 strangely mistaking the mythical 
form, casts upon this portion of the Timseus. With 
regard to his real scientific views, it is first of all undis 
puted (and the Timaeus places it beyond a doubt) that 
he held the cosmos to be a living creature, and attributed 
to it not only a soul, but the most perfect and most, 
intelligent soul. This conviction partly resulted from! 
the universal consideration of the relations between the 
soul and the body partly from the particular contem 
plation of nature and the human mind. If God created 
a world, He must have made it as perfect as possible, , 
and this perfection must belong to the Universe which 
contains in itself all essential natures, in greater measure 
than to any of its parts. 128 But the intelligent is always I 
more perfect than the unintelligent, and intelligence 
cannot dwell in any being, except by means of a soul. 
If, therefore, the world is the most perfect of all created 
beings, it must, as possessing the most perfect intelli- 
gence, possess also the most perfect soul. 129 All that is 
moved by another must be preceded by a Self-moved ; 
this alone is the beginning of motion. But all the/ 
corporeal is moved by another, the soul 011 the contrary 
is nothing else than the self-moving motion. 130 The 
soul is consequently prior to the body ; and that whicli 
belongs to the soul is prior to the corporeal. Reason 
and art are older than that which is generally called 
nature ; and this name itself is in truth far more applic 
able to the soul than to the body. The same must also 

127 De An. i. 2, 406 b. 25 sqq. 129 Vide p. 238, 171. 

128 Tim. 30 A, C sq., 37 A, 92 13 T) 5wa/j.tvi) aurij <LVTT]V 
end. niv-riffis. Laws, 896 A. 


hold good with regard to the Cosmos. In this also, 
the soul must be the first and governing principle;. 
the body the secondary and subservient. 131 Or if we 
-consider more particularly the constitution of the uni 
verse, there is shown in its whole economy, such a 
comprehensive adaptation of means to ends, and, 
especially in the motion of the stars, such an admirable 
regularity, that it is impossible to doubt the Reason 
and wisdom that rule in it. But where, except in the 
soul of the world, can this Reason have its dwelling ? 132 
The same universal mind or reason proclaims itself, 
lastly, in our own spirit : for just as there is nothing in- 
our body which is not derived from the body of the ) 
world, so says Plato (with Socrates), 133 there could be in 
us no soul, if there were none in the universe. And as 
the corporeal elements in the universe are incomparably 
more glorious, mighty, and perfect than in our body, so 
must the soul of the world proportionately transcend 
-our soul in perfection. 134 In a word, therefore, the 
World-soul is necessary, because only through it can 
Reason impart itself to the corporeal ; it is the indis 
pensable intermediate principle between the Idea and 

J * Laws, x. 891 E-890 K. The , 

leading idea of this proof has, how- dea-roTu? xal aptovaav ap^o^vov *vv- 

ever, been already expressed in the ea-Trjffaro. 

Phdrus,245 C: tfvov or? rbavrb ];! - Phileb, 30 A sqq. (p. -jr.l, 

KLVOVV (the soul), are OVK aTroXetTOj 111). So, J8 D sq., the stars and 

eairro, ou Trore XT^CI Kti>ov/j.evov, their motions were appealed to, to 

dXXd /ecu rots aXXots 6 aa /afetrcu prove that not chance, but reason 

TOUTO 7T77777 Ko.1 apxy Kivr)<Tws. ( T. and intellect govern the world. Cf. 

Crat. 40<) A ; Tim. 34 B: God did Tim. 47 A sqq. ; b oph. LY,;. ( w. 

not form the soul after the body ; Laws, x. 897 13. sqq. 

ov yap &v&pxe<r6ai irpffffivrepov virb J:{:{ Vide part i. p. 147, 1. 

vcwrtpoy frvfyfrs da<rcv ... 6 6^ 1:u Philcb. 29 A sqq., and supra, 

KO.I yeveffei KO.I apery irporepav nal loc. cit. 



the phenomenon. As such, it is, 011 the one side, the 
cause of all regulated motion, and of all the configu 
ration thence proceeding ; on the other it is the source 
of all spiritual life and especially of all knowledge, for 
knowledge, according to Plato, is that which distin 
guishes man from the beasts. 135 These are the points 
of view from which he starts in his description of th$ 
World-soul, ft is compounded of the indivisible and 
of the divisible essence ; that is to say, it combines the 
sole Idea with the sensible phenomenon, by uniting in 
itself the specific qualities of both. 130 It is incorporeal, 
like the Idea ; but is at the same time, related to the 
corporeal ; it stands over against the unlimited Multi 
plicity of phenomena as its ideal Unity: against its 
lawless vicissitude as the permanent element which 
introduces into it fixed proportion and law. But it is 

1:i3 Cf. Phsedr. 240 13. 

J:!6 Tim. 35 A, Plato says dis 
tinctly that the ovffia aftepiaTos de 
notes the Ideal, the ovcria fj.epi(TTT] 
the Corporeal ; while he repeatedly 
calls the latter irepl ra aw/nara 
/j.epi<TTTj, and describes the former 
just as he previously, 27 1), de 
scribed the Ideas (there : del /caret 

ravra e^oiV^s ovcrLas ; here : del 
Kara ravra 6v). It does not fol 
low that the Ideas as such, and 
sensible things as such, are in the 
World-soul ; Plato simply says 
that the substance of the World- 
soul is a mixture of the sensible 
and the Ideal substance. The sub 
stance of the sensible and the Ideal 
is something different from the in 
dividual Ideas, and the individual 
sensible things (cf. Ueberweg, p. 
54 sq.); it signifies (as Himpl. l)e 

An. b. o. rightly remarks merely 
the voyrbs and cuV^ros dpos, the- 
yeviKa (rroi%aa TOV faros, the ele 
ment of the Ideal and the Sensible, 
the universal essence of it. After 
the deduction of figurative ex 
pressions (as Simpl. loc. cit. 72 
b. o. virtually acknowledged, the 
general result is that the soul 
stands midway between Sensible 
and Ideal, and partakes in both. 
Plato speaks of a participation of 
the soul in the Idea. In the 
Pluedo, 105 lisqq., et siepius, Mar 
tin, i. 355 sqq. explains the nepurrbv 
as the un -ordered soul : the d/^e /ot- 
arov as the POVS which emanates 
from God. The former supposi 
tion has been already refuted, note 
115; the idea of an emanation is. 
quite un-Platonic. 


not. like the Idea, altogether outside this multiplicity; 
being involved, as the Soul of the body, in space, and as 
the primary cause of motion, in vicissitude. The union 

1 of the Same and the Other with this substance of Soul 
has reference to the combination of uniformity and 
change in the motion of the heavenly bodies; 137 of 

; comparison and difference in knowledge. 138 In the 

! revolution of the heaven of fixed stars, and in the 
rational cognition, the element of the Same predomi- 

i nates; in the movement of the planets and in the 
sensuous notion that of the other. We must not, how 
ever, restrict any of these phenomena to either of these 
two elements, nor must we in this half allegorical 
delineation seek a complete and developed system, or 
be too anxious and precise about its connection with 
other theoretic determinations. 139 The division of the 

1:;r 36 C, the motion of the sphere of the fixed stars the TO.VTOV, 
heaven of the fixed stars is as- in that of the planets the Bdrepov, is 
signed (cire^fjutr^v} to the TO.VTOV, predominant, as Plut. 24, says. 
that of the planets to the ddrepov. 138 37 A sqq. 
Plato, however, cannot mean that 139 Ancient and modern commcn- 
n the former there is no mutabi- tators have combined the TO.VTOV 
lity, and in the latter no fixedness, and 6drepov of the Timseus in dif- 
Without mutability no motion at ferent ways with the other well- 
all, without fixedness no regulated known principles of the Platonic 
motion is imaginable ; but (Soph, system. Modern interpreters usu. 
255 B), both these qualities are at- ally presuppose the identity of the 
tributed to motion, and the Politi- TOLVTQV with the d/J-tpurror, and of 
CIIH, L OO I) indicates the element of the ddrepov with the fiepurrbv. 
mutability in the motion of the Hitter, especially (ii. 366, 396), un- 
uni verse ; while (Tim. 35 B), in the derstands the Ideal by the TCLVTOV, 
.livision of the World-soul it is ex- and the Material by the ddrtpov : 
nressly remarked that each of its so too, Stallbaum (Plat. Tim. 136 
[>arts is composed out of ov<ria, rav- sq.) who compares the former with 
rbv, and Bdrepov ; and (37 A sq.), the Finite, the latter with the 
he knowledge both of Identity and Infinite and most of the corn- 
Difference is ascribed to the circle of mentators. Tennemann (Plat. Phil, 
he ravrbv and that of the ddrepov iii. 66) understands Unity and 
uike. The meaning is that in the plurality or Mutability ; Bockli 



soul as to its whole substance, according to the relations 
of the harmonic and astronomical systems, 140 implies 

(loc. cit. 34 sqq. ; of. Cosmic system 
of PI. p. 19), Unity arid the inde 
finite duad, which is more Platon 
ic, instead of the duad ; Trendelen- 
burg (Plat, de id. et num. doctr. 
95), Ueberweg (54 sq.), and appa 
rently Brandis (Gr.-rom. Phil. ii. 
a. 360), would say the Infinite or 
the Great and Small. I cannot 
agree unconditionally with the lat 
ter explanations of the ftepiffrbv 
and the djJLepKTTov. The mixture 
of these two elementary principles 
must clearly represent the soul as 
something midway between the 
Ideas and sensible things. But this 
is not favoured either by the theory 
that it is composed out of Unity 
and Duality, or the theory that it 
is composed out of the Unit and 
the Infinite. Unity and Duality 
are merely the elements of number 
(according to the later form of the 
doctrine, of ideal, as well as mathe 
matical number) ; the Unit and the 
Infinite, conversely, must exist in 
everything, Sensible and Ideal alike. 
Ueberwcg s expedient, of supposing 
a threefold Unit, and a threefold 
Infinite (of which only the second 
the mathematical unit and the 
mathematical or, more accurately, 
the spatial infinite are to be taken 
as elements of the world-soul), has 
been already refuted, p. 327 sq. My 
own view is that the a.ju.epicrToi> 
denotes the Ideal, the fMepiarbf the 
Corporeal. To say that these two 
are in all things (as Pint. c. 3, 3 ; 
and Martin, i. 379, object) is only 
correct if we include the soul, by 
means of which the Sensible parti 
cipates in the Idea, in our reckon 
ing. It has been already proved, 
p. 343, that the TO.VTOV and 6drepov 

do not coincide with the d/j,epi(TTOv 
and the nepurTw. And the Greek 
interpreters as a rule (Prod. Tim. 
187 C, says not all), distinguish the 
two, e.g. Xenocrates and Crantor 
ap. Plut. c. 1-3; Proclus 181 C 
sqq., 187 A sqq. ; Simpl. de an. 6 
b. u. : Philop. De an. C 2, D 7 : 
Tim. Locr. 95 E (the details of 
these explanations are to be found 
in the passages themselves and in 
Martin, i. 371 sqq. ; Steinhart, vi. 
243). Plutarch too, c. 25, 3, 
agrees in distinguishing them ; by 
the fj-epiffTov, however, he under 
stands (c. 6) as does Martin, i. 
355 sq., not matter, but the ordered 
soul, which even before the forma 
tion of the world, moved the Ma 
terial, and became the World-soul 
through its association with Reason 
(the dutpHTTov: cf. note 115). Ti- 
mseus of Locri (90 A) makes two 
motive powers out of the TO.VTOV 
and darfpov by an arbitrary limita 
tion of their meaning. The sup 
positions of Brandis in the two 
older treatises, that the Great-and- 
Small is meant by the nepiarbv 
and dfj.epKrTov, or the ravrbv and 
darepov, and the kindred theory of 
Stallbanm, sup. loco Tim. p. sqq., 
who would understand the indefi 
nite duad or (sic} l the Ideal and | 
the corporeally Infinite, have been 
refuted by Bonitz, p. 53 ; those 
of Herbart (Kmil. in die Phil. . 
W. i. 251), and Bonitz (p. 08 sqq. | 
and cf. Martin, i. 358 sqq.), viz. that \ 
the soul is composed out of the ! ; 
Ideas of Identity, Difference, and 
Being, by Ueberweg, pp. 40-54. 
Even Plutarch, c. 23, shows that 
the soul is not an Idea. 

140 Tim. 35 B-30 B ; Bockh loc. 

Till] WOltLD-SOUL. 


that the soul comprehends all proportion and measure 
primarily in itself : it is wholly number and harmony, 

cit. pp. 43-81 (cf. metr. Find. 203 
Rqq.), following Crantor, Eudoxus 
and riutarch, gives an exhaustive 
elucidation of this passage, and a 
catalogue of the ancient interpreters 
as far as they are known to us. All 
the moderns follow his example, e.g. 
Btellbaum ad loc. ; Brandis. i. 457 
6(j([. ; ii. a. 3(33 sq. ; Martin, i. 383 
8<|t|. : ii. 35 sq. ; M tiller, in his re 
view, p. 203 sqq. ; Steinhart, vi. 
99 sqq. ; Suscmihl, Genet. Entw. ii. 
357 sqq. ; and others, though not all 
with equal understanding. Briefly, 
Plato represents the collective 
World-soul as divided into seven 
parts, which stand to one another 
ns 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 8, 27, that is to say 
the two and three follow unity, and 
then the squares and cubes of two 
and three. Both these series of 
numbers, that progressing in the 
proportion of 1 : 2, and that in the 
proportion of 1:3 (the 8iir\d<ria 
and Tpnr\d<na Staor^yuara ), are 
then further completed in such a 
way that between each two terms of 
the system two means are inserted, 
an arithmetical and a harmonic ; 
i.e. one which is greater by the 
same number as that by which it 
is less than the larger term ; and 
one such that its difference from 
, the smaller divided by the smaller 
equals its difference from the larger 
divided by the larger (cf. vol. i. 
34S, ;). If this requirement is satis- 
tied, and the smallest number put as 
unity, which will allow the expres 
sion of the rest of the series in 
whole numbers, we get the follow 
ing scheme. (The second number 
of each series gives the harmonic, 
the third the arithmetical mean.) 
(A) For the dnr\d<na 

Proportion of 

1 : 2) 384 512 570 70S 

2 : 4) 708 1024 1152 1530 
4 : 8) 1530 2048 2304 3072 ; 

(B) for ^the Tpnr\d<rti. Stacr 
Proportion of 

1 : 3) 384 570 708 1152 

3 : 9) 1152 1728 2304 3450 
9 : 27) 3450 5184 0912 10308. 

According to this scheme, in tho 
series of the Si-n-Xdcria Stcia-r^ara, 
the first of the four numbers of 
each series stands to the second 
(e.g. 384 : 512), and the third to 
the fourth (570 : 708) as 3 : 4 ; the 
second to the third (512 : 570) as 
8 : 9. In the series of the rpi- 
irXdcria Staar^ara, the first stands 
to the second (384 : 570), and the 
third to the fourth (708 : 1152) as 
2; 3; the second to the third 
(570 : 708) as 3 : 4. Hence (Tim. 
36 A sq.) arise the proportions 
2 : 3, 3:4, 8 : 9. The first two of 
these fill up the Tpnr\d<na, the 
second and third the 5t7r/\d<rta 
diaffTrj/jutTa. If we try to reduce 
the proportion 3 : 4 to the propor 
tion 8 : 9, which serves to complete 
it, we find our progress arrested ; 
but if we advance from the number 
384 in the proporlion of 8 : 9, we 
get the numbers 432 = x 384, and 
486-|x432; for the remainder, 
instead of the proportion 8 : 9, we 
get only 480 : 512 = 243 : 250. The 
same holds good of the resolution 
of the proportion 2 : 3 through the 
proportion 8:9; 2:3 is greater 
than . > : 4 by the interval 8 : 9. 
All the proportions depending on 
the fundamental proportion 2 : 3 
and 3 : 4 can be resolved into the 
two proportions 8 : 9 and 243 : 256. 
If this process be applied to the 



and from it spring all numerical definition and all 
harmony in the world : for with Plato, as with the 

whole of the numbers in the above 
scheme, we get the following re 
sults : 

384 1 2018 . 

\ 8 : 9 256 : 273 





213 :256 

, , 2304 

243 : 256 8:9 
512 2592 

- 8:9 - 8:9 

576 2916 

I 8 : 9 - 243 : 256 

648 f 3072 { 

[8:9 I 8 :9 

729 3156 

!- 243 : 256 -8:9 




: 9 18:0 

: 9 213 : 256 


" \ 243 : 258 " [ 

1024 5184 

Q . n I $ . 9 




!- 8:9 


243 : 256 

I 243 : 256 8 : . 

1536 7776 

[8:9 [8:9 

1728 8748 

[8:9 213 : 256 

1914 9216 ! 


243 : 256 


8 :9 

In this series, derived from the 
Jirst three numbers, Plato recognises 
the fundamental determinations of 
the astronomical and harmonic sys 
tem. In the former, according to 
his of course entirely arbitrary sup 
position (Tim. 36 D ; cf. 38 D ; 
llep. x. 617 A sq.), the distances of 
the planets depend upon the nnm- 
bers two and three, and their 
powers ; the sun, Venus, Mercury, 
Mars, Jupiter, Saturn are respec 
tively 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 27 times as far 
from the earth as the moon. So in 
the harmonic system. The eight 

tones of the octachord stand ac 
cording to a diatonic classification, 
the strings going from lowest to 
highest, and consequently the tones 
are numbered from the high to the 
low (which is not always the case, 
e.g. Arist, Metaph. v. ii. 1018, b. I 
28 ; x. 7, 1057, a. 22, the procedure: 
is from the vrrdrr] through the 
to the 

in the following pro- 

8 : 9 

8 : 9 


243 : 256 

8 : 9 
). 8:0 

Trapvirdrv] ) 

243 : 256 

If we reckon these proportions in 
accordance with a single measure 
for all eight tones, and make the 
higher tone the lesser (as is usual 
with the ancients, because the 
height of the tone, as is well 
known, stands in inverse proportion 
to the length of the sounding-string 
with equal thickness and tension, 
or because, as Bockh supposes, loc. 
cit. 49, the higher tone requires 
just as many vibrations in a lesser 
time. I cannot, however, find this 
in the passages quoted by Bockh, 
and in any case the first method of 
measurement seems to me to be the 
original), we obtain the following 
formula ; if the tone of the vrjTr) be 
set down as = 384, then the irapa- 
1/777-77 = 432, the rpiTrj - 486, the 


ythagoreans, musical harmony and the system of the 
leavenly bodies are the principal revelations of the in- 
isible numbers and their accord. 141 In this respect, 

Trapa.]j.(0 7) = i)l2. the /j.e<rr] = ol$, the 

the I TTCITT; 708. (Other numbers 
would result, if we put down the 
larger number for the higher tone 
and the smaller for the deeper, as 
we should do in determining the 
proportion of the tone according to 
the number of its vibrations, Then 
if the virdT-r) were put down at 480, 
we should have for the irapvirdr-rj 
512 : for the \ixavbs 570 ; for the 
/ue cTT; 048 ; for the Trapafj.^o-r) 729 ; 
for the Tp iTT] 708 ; for the Trapavrfrr/ 
804 : for the vr^rt] 972. Hut clearly 
this is not Plato s way of reckon 
ing, and Martin, i. 395 is mistaken 
in believing that Plato intended to 
assign the larger numbers particu 
larly to the higher tones, because, 
ace" to Tim. 07 B; 80 A sq., with 
Aristotle and others he considers 
them to be quicker than the lower 
tones. As Martin himself remarks, 
ven those old musicians who knew 
that the higher tones consist of 
more parts than the lower or pro- 
luce more vibrations in the air, do 
lot invariably do this, because they 
Calculate the proportion of the tone 
iccording to the length of the 
tilings. ( )thers, of course, e.g. 
Vrist. ap. Pint. Mus. 23, 5 ; Arist. 
robK-n: xvii. 2: ,: Plut. an. procr. 
8, 4 sq., 19, 1, assign the larger 
mmber to the higher tone. Fur- 
he r details on this point are to be 
ound in Mai-tin, loc. cit.) The 
undamental proportions of the 
bove scale, as the Pythagoreans 
ad already taught (see vol. i. 305 
i. 345 sq ), are the octave (did 
cwwi^, or the proportion 1 : 2 
\67oy d;ir\d<rios), the fifth (Sid 

, in Hiilolaus ^5t 6etcD>), or 
2 : 3 (i)fu6\toi>) , the fourth (Sid retr- 
aapuv, in Philol. triAXa/ST?), or 3 : 4 
(^r/T/Hrw), the tone, or 8 : 9, and 
the lesser semi-tone, or 243 : 250 
(this lesser half of a tone is called 
in Philolaus Ste<m, later Xet/^a, the 
greater = 250 : 273f is called diro- 
TO/iTy). From the vrjTtj to the irapa- 
(jLtcrr], and from the ^yt] to the 
virdrrj is a fourth, from the vrjrrj 
to the /u-ea-rj, and from the] 
to the virdTij is a fifth ; the distance 
of the particular strings amounts 
partly to a tone, partly to a XeZ^a. 
It is obvious that these are the 
same proportions which form the 
basis of the series of numbers. 
All the derivative tones (e.g. the 
did iraffCiv /cat did 7reVre= 1 : 3, and 
the 5ts did Tracrit}i>= 1 : 4) can easily 
le shown in it (cf. Plat. an. procr. 
14, 2) ; and it contains in itself a 
system of four octaves, a fifth and 
a tone ; the sequence of the tones 
likewise comes quite right, if with 
Bjckh and the pseudo-Timcieus (who 
can only on this supposition give 
the sum of the numbers in question 
as 114, 695) we interpolate the 
number 0144 between the numbers 
5832 and 0501. This number is 
distant a \ei/j./j.a from 5832, and an 
diroTO[j.ri from 0501. Then there 
remains only the unimportant ano 
maly that two tones (2048 : 2304 
and 0144 : 0912) are resolved into 
a semi-tone, and that in the fourth 
octave (3072 : 6144) the fifth pre 
ceding the fourth. 

141 < :f. Kep. vii. 527 D sq. ; 529 
C sqq. ; 530 D; Tim. 47 A sqq. ; 
and vol. i. 374. 


therefore, the World-soul has the same import and 
comprehension as that which Plato, in the Philebus, 
calls the Limit, and Aristotle represents him as calling 
the Mathematical principle. For of the Limit it is 
said 142 that the whole sphere of number and measure 
belongs to it ; and Aristotle assigns to the Mathematical 
principle the same place that is occupied in the Timaeus 
by the World-soul : it stands midway between material 
objects and the Ideas. 143 It is quite in harmony with 
this, that Plato should make the Mathematical sciences, 
and these alone, form the transition from the sensible 
perception to the contemplation of the Idea ; 144 for 
in conformity with his principles, this pre-supposes 
that as these sciences themselves lie in the midst be 
tween the sensible notion and pure thought, 145 so must 
their object lie between the phenomenon and the Idea. 
The two concepts, however, are certainly distinct in 
their points of departure and in their apprehension. 
The notion of the World-soul, starting from the con 
templation of Life and motion, represents primarily the 
efficient powers in the universe, conceived in the man 
ner of the human soul : the Mathematical principle 
represents the formal determination of things, accord- 

42 25 A ; vide p. 264. b. G.) The expression aKimjra is, 

143 Metaph. i. 6, 987 a. 14: eVt however, inaccurate; in 1 lato 

8e trapa ra alcrd-rjTa /ecu ra eidtj ra neither the AVorld-soul nor, ace. to 

/j.adrj/j.artKa T&V Trpay/j-druv elvai Rep. vii. 529 C scj. (supra, p. 221, 

<f>T)(ri juerai>, dLafapovra rui> fjitv 158), the mathematical principle is 

a.i<rdr)Tui> r$ aiSia /ecu dKivrjra elvcu, absolutely unmoved ; they arc only 

TUV 8 ei8ut> ry TO, 7r6\V ar- a free from Becoming and the change 

o/noLa eu>cu TO 5e eTSos avrb $v ability of Becoming. 

%Ka<rTov fjibvov. (Similarly in the 144 A ide p. 215. 

shorter allusions 1, 9, 991 a. 4, 14 " Of. p. 225. 
vii.; 2, 1028 b. 18, xi. : 1, 1059 

Till-: WoltLD-Sol l^ p,53 

ing to number and measure. 111 But as in the Platonic 
Ideas, the highest efficient and the highest formal 
causes coincide, and arc divided only temporarily and 
in inexact description, so it is hriv. The \Vorld-soul 
comprehends in itself all mathematical proportions in 
unity ; and occupies the position, which according to 
the Philebus and to Aristotle, is exclusively filled by 
the Mathematical principle. Though we should not 
be justified in assuming that Plato has expressly iden 
tified them, and must indeed acknowledge that the 
problem of finding a middle term between Idea and 
phenomenon is apprehended in the two doctrines from 
different sides (this middle term being regarded in the 
concept of the soul from the point of view of livino- 
force, as cause of motion and of opinion, while in the 
concept of the mathematical principle it appears as a 
specific form of Being) ; yet both have ultimately the 
same signification, and take the same place in the 
I Mntonic system. 1 17 They show us the Idea in reference 
to the world of sense ; and the world of sense embraced 

4t; On this depends Plutarch s gether with the irepa.? (by which 

objection, De an. procr. 23, 1, to 1 understand the mathematical 

the theory that the soul is either a standard of determination), goes 

number or a space : ^re rots neither against my explanation of 

irepac-i pyre rots a.pi.6 juots /j.edh the repay, nor against the correct - 

txs frvirdpxeiv f/cai^s rijs Svvd- ness of the connection given above. 

/xewy, 7; TO aivdyTov 77 ^v^n TT<J>VK 1 do not, of course, suppose thiit 

Kpiveiv neither thought nor con- Plato expressly identified the ma- 

oeption nor sensation can bo de- thematical principle and the World- 

rived from units, lines, or super- soul ; so I am not concerned with 

Iflcies, v. note 154. Ilctlig s citation (p. 20, AMa in 

| ]4: 80 Siebeck, Uriters. z. Phil, the Philebus) of this passage as 

1. Gr. 101 sq. The fact that in against the assumption that 

the Phileh. 30 A, 0, the World- means the World-soul. 

Juoul is especially mentioned t<>- 

A A 


by firmly limited relations. In mathematical forms, tlie 
unity of the Idea does indeed separate into plurality ; 
but these forms are not subject to the vicissitude of 
sensible things. 148 The Soul enters into the corporeal 
and its motion, but the soul itself is not corporeal. 149 
While all that is corporeal is moved by another, the 
soul is the self-moved, and moves everything else, 150 
and though distinct from the Idea, the soul is of all 
things most closely related to it. 151 Strictly speaking, 
we should go a step further, and declare both the 
World-soul and mathematical forms to be the Idea 
itself, as the formal determination and motive principle 
of the material world. For as Matter as such is the 
Non-existent, the Heal in the soul can only be the 
Idea. But the same reasons which obliged Plato to 
separate the Idea from the phenomenon, necessitated 
also the distinction of the soul from the Idea : the soul 
is derived, the Idea original ; the soul is generated, the 
Idea eternal ; the Soul is a particular, the Idea a 
universal; 152 the Idea is absolute reality, the soul only- 
participates in reality. 153 As the Ideas are placed side I 
by side with one another, although, properly speaking, | 
the lower must be contained in the higher, and all in 
the highest ; as the world of sense is set beside the Ideas, 
although, in so far as it possesses reality, it is imma 
nent in them, so the Soul appears as a Third between 

148 V. note 143. this must hold good even more of 

149 Soph. 246 E sqq. ; Phsedo, the World-soul. "Rep. x. 611 E. 
79 A sq. ; Tim. 36 E et alibi. 152 So, too, mathematical things 

150 V. supra, p. 345. in relation to the Idea ; vide pas- 

151 Phsedo, 79 A sq. D (where sages quoted, note 143, from Aris- 
the subject of discussion is the totle. 

human soul), but ace. to Tim. 41 D, 153 See p. 346 sq., p. 239, 39. 

m& 355 

the Idea and the phenomenon, instead of merely repre 
senting that side of the Idea, which is turned to the 
phenomenon ; and we find that the mathematical forms 
still retain a place beside the soul, while at the same 
time mathematical proportions are within it. 154 

K)4 The old Platonists reckoned^ 
the sonl for the most part among 
mathematical things ; only they 
were not agreed as to whether its 
nature was arithmetical or geome 
trical, a number or a magnitude. 
The Conner was the view of Xeno- 
crates, who, as we shall see later 
on, defined it as a selfmoving 
number. So (ace. to Procltis in 
Tim. 187 B) did Aristaiulcr, Nu- 
meniuf, and many others ; and to 
this view belongs the statement 
(Dice. iii. 07) that Plato attributed 
to the soul an apxr] dptd/j.r)TiK7], 
to the body an apxy yeufj.fTpiKr), 
which, however, hardly agrees with 
what immediately follows, where 
the soul is defined as idta TOU 
TravT-t) dia.aTo.Tou TrvfujmaTOs. The 
other view belongs not only to 
Severus, as mentioned by Proclus 
loc. oil., but to Speusippus and 
Positioning. The former of these 
imagined its P.eing as in space 
(ci> Idea. TOII TVO.VTT] Statrrarou, Stob 
Kkl. i. 862) ; the latter defined it 
more precisely as Idta TOU TTCLVT^ 
8ia.ffTa.Tov Kad 1 ffuveaTuicra 
apuovlav TTfpLexovra. (Pint. an. 
procr. 22, 1, who, however, wrongly 
understands the Ma T. TT. Starr. 
as an Idea, whereas it must rather 
mean a formation of that which is 
in space fashioned according to 
harmonic numbers). In the first 
view, the elements of the soul, 
the d^pia-Tov and /^fpurrof, would 
be referred to the Unit and the 
indefinite duad ; in the second, to 

the Point and the intermediate 
Space (Procl. loc. cit., whose state 
ment with regard to Xenocratos 
will receive further confirmation 1 
iosidonius, however, refers them 
to the voijTbv and spatial magnitude 
[Tip rdv TrepdTuv ofotav Trepi rd 
ffwftara, the limitation of bodies 
m space). Aristotle, De An. 1 ;{ 

4 u 7 ml 2 obj ects to J>Iato that i" 
the Timseus he makes the soul a 
magnitude. Ueberweg, loc. cit. 50, 
74 sq. holds the same view. Tho 
soul according to Teberweg is a 
mathematical magnitude, and in 
space ; of its elements, th,e TO.VTOV 
signifies number, the 0are/x> space 
which admits of all figures; and 
this space is the principle of motion 
m secondary matter, and, as such 
the irrational soul (v. note 115). 
Ihe quarrM of Xenocrates and 
Speusippus* seems to show that 
Plato had not expressed himself 
definitely in favour of one view or 
the other. Aristotle had to form 
IMS doctrine as to the soul from the 
Tmneus alone; for his quotation 
I>e An. 1, 2 (supra, p. -Jo.;. [08 . 
Irom the Discourses on Philosophy 
is irrelevant to the present question. 
Ihe probable conclusion to be 
drawn from the Timaeus is that 
the soul, in spite of its incor- 
poreahty and invisibility, is en 
visaged as being diffused through 
the body of the World-whoK Such 
envuagementi of the relation of 
soul to body, especially in an ani- 
mated treatment of the subject, 

A A 2 



The activity of the Soul is partly motion, partly 
intelligence. 155 It is the first principle of all motion, 
for it alone is the Self-moving, and in moving itself it 
also moves the body. 156 The Pha-drns says that the 
soul has the Care of the inanimate, traverses the world 
and is its ruler. 157 The more fanciful imagery of the 

are scarcely to be avoided ; but I 
cannot believe Plato to have repre 
sented it as a magnitude in space, 
in the direct mr.nner Ueberweg 
supposes. All the expressions 
which can be quoted in favour of 
his view are veiled in a mythical 
and symbolical twilight which for 
bids our conceiving them as dog 
matic. No one takes the division 
of the world-soul into eight circles, 
and all the connected details, as a 
literal expression of Plato s belief; 
nor can the general supposition 
(only used in that allegorical ex 
position), that the soul is extended 
in space and divisible in space, be 
strictly pressed. Otherwise we 
should be obliged to consider the 
soul, not merely as something 
extended, but as something cor 
poreal ; anything filling space and 
t >et not material can be no more 
split up and bent into circles than 
it can be mixed in a caldron (Tim. 
41 D). From the exposition of the 
Tiirueus we can really infer nothing, 
simply because we should infer too In itself, however, it is 
incredible that Plato, who con 
siders the fact of filling space to 
be the distinguishing t-i-n of Body, 
should have expressly attributed 
the same quality to the incorporeal, 
standing in as close connection 
with the Idea as the soul. lie 
might rather have called the soul 
a number ; but as this determina 
tion is unanimously quoted as 

peculiar to Xenocrate?, we cannot, 
of course, ascribe it to Plato. The 
most probable view is that Plato 
did not expressly declare himself 
on this point, and left the relation 
of the soul to the mathematical 
principle generally in that indeter 
minate state which our text pre 

155 Cf. Aiist. De An. i. 2. 

156 Vide note 131. Phrcdr. 24a 
D sq. : Kivrjfffws /Jtev dpx f) TO O.VTO 
avrb KIVOVV . . ^VXTJS ovaiav re Kii 
\6yov TOVTOV O.VTOV rts \tyiov OVK 
titffXWfiTCU . . . fJ. }] aXXo TI tlvai 
TO avrb eavro KIVOVV i) ^vxyv- 

157 240 B: Tracra ij "^VXT) iravros 
eTTtjUeAetrai rov dif/i>xcv, rravra Sc 
oupavcv Tre/atTroAe?, dXXor cv cl\Xoty 
ei 5e<n yiyvofMevf] . reXe a ovv 
oiVa /cat eirrepwfjL^v-rj /j.Tewpoirop(? 
re Kal iravTO, rbv KO^JJ-OV Stot/ce?. i] 
8k irTepoppwrjcraffa (peperai., &c. A 
question may possibly arise,whether 
we are to understand the Tracra 
i/a xr] as the whole collective soul, 
i.e. the soul of the All, or (with 
Snsemilil, ii. 39U, and others) each 
individual soul. In favour of the 
first view we have besides the iratra 
i] \f/vxTi (for which also Tracra $VXT\ 
occurs) the words TravTos Tri/j,e\e i- 
TOLI TOV a\{;vxov .... jrdvra rbv 
KOCFIJ.OV oioiKfi, for each individual 
soul supposes only its body, and 
all individual souls collectively 
suppose only their collective body ; 
whereas the soul of the universe, 
and it only, cares for everything 


Timaeus is to the same effect. The entire World- 
soul, we are told, was divided lengthwise into two 
parts ; and these two halves w^ere bent into an outer 
and an inner circle, of which the outer is named 
the circle of the Same ; the inner, that of the Other. 
These circles, laid obliquely within each other, are the 
scaffolding of the World-system : the circle of the Same 
is the sphere of fixed stars ; the circle of the Other 
forms by further division the seven spheres of the 
planets. In the circular revolution of these spheres 
the soul, turning in itself, moves ; it is interfused every 
where from the centre of the universe to the circum 
ference, and envelopes it externally ; and as all the 
>rporeal is built into these spheres, the soul effects also 
the motion of the corporeal. 15 * As Plato s real opinion, 
however, we can only maintain this much, that the 
soul diffused throughout the universe and by virtue of 
its nature, ceaselessly self-moving, according to fixed 
laws causes the division as well as the motion of 
matter in the heavenly spheres : and that its harmony 
and life are revealed in the order and courses of the 
M;tr.s. The Tiingeus also connects the intelligence of 
the World-soul with its motion and harmonious dis 
tribution. _By reason of its composition (o7, A ff), and 
because it is divided and bound together in itself 
according to harmonica! proportion because it at last 
I d urns into itself by its circular motion, it tells itself 

inanimate, including inorganic na- lectivity of the individual souls in 

ture. Here, however, though less itself. 

clearly than in the Timst-us, the 158 34 B, 3(3 H-K. The astro- 
soul of the All is thought of as nomical part of this exposition will 
including and embracing the col- be discussed later on. 


throughout its whole essence of all that it touches in 
its course, whether Divisible or Indivisible : in what 
respect it is the same, and in what diverse, whether 
and how it is related to Being or Becoming. But this 
speech, spreading itself soundlessly in the sphere of the 
Self-moved, generates knowledge. If the faculty of 
perception is touched by it and the announcement 
comes to the soul from the circle of the Other, 159 then 
true notions and opinions arise ; 16 if it is signified 
to thought, from the circle of the Same, rational cog 
nition and intelligent knowledge are the result. Here 
again the literal and figurative are freely intermingled, 
and Plato himself might, perhaps, scarcely be able to 
define with accuracy where his representation ceases 
to be dogmatic and begins to be mythical. He is 
doubtless in earnest 1G1 when he ascribes to the world a 
soul, and to this soul the most perfect intelligence that 
can belong to aught created ; and though the more 
precise concept of personality hardly applies to this 
soul, 1<i2 yet in all that he says on the subject, he abun- 

)9 In ;>7 ]>, al70r}TLKbv, the receives a more natural colouring, 

reading of one of Bekker s MSS. In the above, therefore, I follow 

is to^ be adopted instead of aiird fjTov this conjecture. The expressions 

(as is shown by the opposition of irepl r6 ai<rQr)Tov yiyi>e<rdai, Trepi TO 

\oyi<TTiKbv\ and it is to this that \oyiarLKov elvat are generally re- 

the oi rou rqv vfri XT?" of our text ferrcd to the objects of the Xoyos 

refers. The alffBrjriKov must sig- (cf. Stallbaum in loc.); but this 

niiy, not the faculty of perception, teiids to embarrassment -with the 

but the subject capable of percep- \oyurTiK6v, which ought to be 

tion, which, however, can, at the vorfrbv to meet this view, 

same time, be one admitting of 16 On these stages of cognition 

thought, a XoyiaTiKbi*. It is, how- cf. p. 279 sq. 

ever, more convenient to read avrbv 1W V. pp. 325 sqq. : 288, 172; 

[sc. rbv \t)yoi>] ; then the aiffBtj- 2G6, 112. 

TIKOV may be the faculty of per- 1M2 What can we understand by 

ception, and the whole passage a personality which comprises 



clantly shows that he himself conceives it as analogous 
to the human soul. The question which to us would 
immediately occur, how far the World-soul possesses 
self-consciousness and will, he has scarcely even raised. 163 
It sounds to us strange that the intellectual activity of 
this soul should coincide with the revolution in space 
of the heavens ; that reason and science should be as 
signed to the sphere of fixed stars, and opinion to that 
of the planets. Even Plato probably did not intend 
this exposition to be taken literally ; 1C4 yet he has cer 
tainly brought knowledge and the movement of the 
soul into a connection which must have made any 
accurate definition almost as difficult to him as to our 
selves. He regards knowledge as a motion returning 
into itself, and ascribes to the World-soul a knowledge 
of all that is in itself and in the world, just because 
1 here belongs to it this perfect motion in and around 
iN;>lf. Other philosophers had similarly combined 
knowledge and motion, 100 and Plato elsewhere compares 
llicm in ti way that shows us that he conceived them to 
be governed by analogous laws. 166 The same holds good 

numberless other existences, and 
those too possessed of life and 
soul V How could the soul be a 
World-soul, unless it were in re 
lation with all parts of the world, 
just as the human soul is with the 
parts of the body ? 

13 Cf. p. LV,I;. 

1(U If we t;ikc the passage just 
quoted from Tim. 37 B as it stands, 
Ilic result would be that Right 
Opinion is brought about by the 
motion of the planetary circle, 
Thought and Knowledge by that 
of the fixed stars. No clear idea, 

however, can be got out of this, 
whether we understand Thought 
and Opinion to be the Thought 
and Opinion of the human soul, or 
of the World-soul. We can hardly 
suppose that Plato would have 
attributed to the World-soul, be 
sides Thought, mere Opinion, even 
though it were Kight Opinion. 

165 E.g. Anaxagoras and Dio 
genes ; vide vol. i. 804 sq., 220 ; 
cf. Arist. De An. i. 2, 405 a. 13, 21. 

1(!(i In Tim, 34 B is mentioned the 
circular motion T&V 
TT]V trepi vovv Kal 



of the mathematical partition of the Soul. As Plato 
expressed the differences of knowledge by means of 
numbers, 167 he might also place knowledge generally, 
in combination with number. The infinite Many, as 
Philolaus had already taught, 168 becomes cognisable by 
being reduced through number and measure to definite 
proportions. Plato derives the knowledge of the 
World-soul from its harmonious distribution of parts, 
as well as from its composition and motion, 169 and 
this is in the main his real opinion. The Soul could 
not know material things did it not bear within it 
self, in harmonic proportions, the principle of all de 
termination and order. As its motion is regulated by 
number, so is its knowledge ; and as in the one case 
it effects the transition of the Idea to the phenomenon 
and brings the unlimited plurality of material things 
into subjection to the Idea, so in the other it com 
bines Unity and Multiplicity, the cognition of lleason 
and the perception of Sense. 

oiVcu/, similarly 39 C, 40 A. Law.s, thought is described simply as a 

x.^898 A: eu/cu re avrrjv rrj TOV motion, and more particularly a 

i uv Tre/HoSo; TroVrws ws dvvarbv circular motion (TTfpKpopa] of the 

otKtioTcirT/i re /cat 6/j.oiai> .... /card soul. 

rcuVa b-fjirov /cat waai^rcos /cat eV T<$ 1(i ~ Vide p. -19, 147 und p. 

UI)T< /cat Trepi TO. avra nal irpbs ra 25G, 10o. 

aura /cat eVa \6yov /cat rd^iv jtu ai> 1(J8 Vide vol. i. 294, 1. 

0^00) Kiveladat : and Tim. 77 Ji, 89 lli9 Tim. 37 A : are .... di>a 

A, 90 ( sq. ; cf. 43 D, 44 D, 47 D, \byov //e/)t(r^e?(ra /cai vv5tdfi<ra. 



tE foregoing pages contain the leading thoughts of 
Platonic view of Nature. The World is the phe- 
lomenon of the Idea in Space and in Time, the sen 
sible and variable copy of the Eternal : it is the common 
product of the Divine Reason and of Natural Necessity, 
of the Idea and of Matter. That which mediatises be 
tween them, the proximate cause of all order, motion, 
life, and knowledge, is the Soul. 

The Timsous shows how, from these causes, the 
origin and economy of the universe are to be explained ; 
and to do so, it enters deeply into the particulars of 
phenomena. It may well be conceived, however, from 
11 ie character of Halo s genius, that these inquiries 
into natural science would be little to his taste: ac 
cordingly we find, not merely that the TinuiMis alone 
of his writings discusses this subject, but that it does 
not seem to have been pursued even in his oral dis 

Aristotle, at any rate, appeals for this portion of 
his theory solely to the Timanis. But Plato himself 
declares that he esteems such discussions as inferior in 
value to more general philosophic enquiry. Our words, 



lie says, are constituted like the objects they describe. 
Only the doctrine of invariable Being can lay claim 
to perfect certainty and exactitude ; where the mere 
phenomenon of true Reality is in question, we must 
be content with probability instead of strict truth. 1 
These things are therefore rather a matter of intel 
lectual pastime than of serious philosophic investiga 
tion. 2 Perhaps he is not quite in earnest, 3 but from 
these remarks we may infer that Plato was to some 
extent aware of his weakness in natural science, and at 
the same time believed that from the nature of the 
subject, greater certainty in such enquiries was hardly 
to be attained. On his philosophy, indeed, the bearing 
of his own enquiries in this direction is unimportant : 

1 Tim. 29 13 sq.; cf. 44 C, 56 C, 
57 1), 67 I), 68 D, 90 E. Even 
in the important questions about 
matter and the unity of the world 
Plalo uses this caution. Tim. 48 
J) (on the text cf. Bo ckh, Kl. 
Schr. iii. 239), he says that about 
the Sensible as the etVobi/ of true 
Ueing, only ct/c6res X670i are pos 
sible, i.e. such as are like the truth, 
but not the truth itself, just as an 
eiKwv is that which is like a thing, 
but is not the thing itself. That 
winch is merely like the truth 
merely probable includes not only 
(eientific suppositions, but also (as 
Susemihl, Genet. Entw. ii. 321 
points cut) mythical expositions. 
Plato himself clearly gives us to 
understand this in the passages 
already quoted, p. 485, 1 ; he says, 
however, in the Phaedo, 114 D, at 
the end of his eschatological myth : 
it would in truth be foolish ravra 

?} raOr effriv 77 TOIO.VT arra 

. . . TOVTO Kdl TTpeTTeiV yUOi 5o/Ce, K .T.X. 

This myth, then, cannot indeed lay 
claim to complete truth, but to a 
certain probability ; and the same 
result is derived from Gorg. 527 
A. Cf. 523 A. 

- Tim. 59 C : ra\\a 5t rCov 
ovdev TTOLKI\OV n oia- 
u, rrjv r&v eiKoruv fj-vGuv 
i>Ta I5eai>, fyv 8raf rts 
eW/cct, roi S Trepl TUIV 
del Karadefj-evos \6yovs, TOJ)S 

Traidiav /ecu 

] TraiSia, at least in the passage 
just quoted, recalls the correspond 
ing and clearly exaggerated expres 
sion of Phscdr. 265 C, 276 D,and the 
whole depreciatory treatment of 
physical science is in harmony with 
the solemn tone of the Timseus. 

PHYSICS. 3rt3 

they contain Ideas and observations, which are some 
times ingenious and sometimes puerile, interesting no 
doubt for the history of natural science, but for that of 
philosophy in great measure valueless, because of their 
slight connection with Plato s philosophic principles. 
Much appears to be borrowed from others, especially 
from Philolaus, and probably Dernocritus. Three 
main points have, however, a more universal import 
ance : these are, the Origin of the World, the deriva 
tion of the Elements, and the concept of the AVorld- 

I. Thl Origin of the World. This is described in 
tin- Timajus as a mechanical construction. The uni 
versal Architect resolves to make the totality of the 
visible as perfect as possible, by forming a created 
mi t ure after the eternal archetype of the living essen 
tial nature. For this pupose, He first mingles the 
World-soul, and divides it in its circles. Then lie 
binds the chaotic, fluent matter into the primary forms 
of the four dements. From these He prepares the 
system of the universe building matter into the scaf 
folding of the World-soul. In its various parts He 
places the stars, to be the dividers of Time. Lastly, 
i-liut nothing might be wanting to the perfection of the 
world, He forms living beings. 4 

Now the mythical character of this description gene- 
Tally cannot be doubted, but it is not easy to deter- 
.mine how far the mytlnis extends. We have already 
n reference to this subject spoken of the Creator, of 
[ he Soul, and of Matter : we are now more immediately 
Concerned with the question whether, and to what 
4 See x. 27 K-57 1). 



extent, Plato seriously maintains the beginning of the 
world in time, and its gradual formation. 5 On the one 
hand, not only does this seem to be required by the 
whole tone of the Timaeus, but it appears to result still 
more definitely from the explanation (28 B), that the 
world as corporeal, must have become ; for all sensible 
and corporeal things are subject to Becoming. On the 
other hand, however, this assumption involves us in a 
series of glaring contradictions. For if all that is cor 
poreal must have become, or been created, this must 

5 The views of the first Platonic 
scholars were divided on this point 
Aristotle (De Ccelo, i. 10, 280 a. 
28 ; iv. 2, 300 b. 16 ; Phys. viii. 1, 
251 b. 17 ; Metaph. xii. 3, 1071 

4, 1), Taurus np. Philop. De setern. 
mnndi, vi. 21, and most of the 
Platonists who inclined to Pytha 
gorean views the Neo-Platonists 
without exception. On the other 

b. ,11,37; De An", i. 3,406 b. 25 hand, Theophrastus(Fragm. 28 sq.; 

sqq.) in his criticism of the Pla- Wira. ap. Philop. loo. cit. vi. 8, 

tonic cosmogony takes the Timseus 31, 27) rejects this supposition 

literally throughout and considers though not so decidedly as Aris- 

the temporal origin of the world, totle and with him Alexander ap. 

il_ _ Iff 11 1 _ 1 il J.^ !, T>1 *1 rrr _ _ .1 _. -_il-_ il_ * 

the World-soul, and time, to be 
Plato s real meaning. Still even 
he says (Gen. et corr. ii. 1, 329 a. 
13 N ; that Plato did not clearly ex 
plain whether matter can exist 
otherwise than in the form of the 
four elements ; and that if this 
question be answered in the nega 

Philop. vi. 27, and apparently the 
whole Peripatetic school agree. 
Among the Platonists, Plutarch, 
loc. cit. and Atticus (on whom 
sec vol. iii. a. 722, 2nd edit.) en 
deavour to prove that the theory 
of the world 


being without a 
foreign to I lato. 

live, the beginning of the world Among the moderns Bockh (On the 

must also be denied. Another view 
(ace. to Arist. De Coclo, i. 10, 270 

World-floul, p. 23 sq.) has repeated 
the view of Xenocrates : and is 

b. 32) was, that I lato represented followed by Brandis (ii. a. 356 sq., 

365\ Steinhart (Plat. WW. vi. 68 
sqq., 94 sq.), Susemihl (Genet. 
Kntw. ii. 326 sqq.), and others, to 
gether with my Plat. St. 208 sqq. 
and the 1st ed. of the present work. 
Martin, Etudes i. 355, 370 sq., 
377 : ii. 179 sqq. ; Ueberweg, 
Rhein. Mus. ix. 76, 79; Plat. Schr. 
287 sq. ; Stumpf, iVerb. d. plat. 

the formation of the world as a 

temporal act merely for the sake 

of clearness. We leavn from Simpl. 

ad loc. Schol. in Arist. 488 b. 15 

(whose statement is repeated by 

others, 489 a. 6, 9) ; Pseudo-Alex. 

ad Metaph. 1091 a. 27; Pint. 

procr. an. 3, 1, that Xenocrates 

availed himself of this expedient ; 

and was followed by Crantor and Gott. z. Idee d. Gut. 36 sqq. de- 

Kudorus (Pint. loc. cit. and c. clare in favour of Plutarch s view. 


also hold good of Matter ; yet .Matter is supposed to pre- 
Dede the creation of the world, and (80 A) is repre 
sented in this its ante-mundane condition as something 
alivjidy visible. But if we are to include the notion 
of an eternal matter in the mythical portion of the 
dialogue, where is our warranty that the creation of 
the world is not part of the same, and that the proper 
meaning of the latter theory may not be the meta 
physical dependence of the finite on the Eternal? 
The dogmatic form in which it is proved argues little; 
for the point is primarily to show, not a chronolo 
gical beginning, but an Author of the world. And 
we constantly find Plato adopting this dogmatic tone 7 

J Cf. Tim. 28 H: vKtirrtov 5 
ovv irepl ai Tov irp&rov . . . Ttbrepov 
fy del, yeveffews dpxw fyuv ovde- 
ftiav, r) ytyovev, d?r apxys TLVOS 
dp^d/mevos . ytyovev . . . TO; 5 av 
yevo/JL^vi^ (pa^v vir alriou nvbs 
dvdyKrjv etVcu yevtvdai. 

7 E.g. PoHt. - (>< . Hero the 
necessity of a periodical alternation 
between the self-motion of the 
world and its motion by divine 
agency (the starting-point of the 
well known cosmological myth) is 
insisted on as dogmatically and 
with the same apparent earnestness 
as the necessity of a beginning of 
the world in the Tinireus. The 
corporeal cannot possibly be always 
the same. The world has a body. 
It must consequently change ; and 
this change consists in its revolu 
tion. But it is impossible that it 
should continually revolve of it 
self. The rjyovfj.evov T&V KIVOV/J.C- 
vui> TTCLVTUV alone has this power. 
And its nature doos not allow (ov 
9e^.is) that it should be moved 

first in one direction and then in 
another by this ^yotf/tcpor. The 
world, therefore, can neither al 
ways move itself nor always be 
moved by the divinity. Xor can 
two gods move it in opposite ways. 
The only conclusion remaining is 
that at one time it is moved by 
God, and at another being left 
alone, it moves in an opposite 
direction of itself. This is just 
as didactic as the passage of the 
Timreus, and can be made to give 
just as valid and formal conclusions 
as Stumpf has derived from the 
latter passage (loc. cit. )>8 f.\ 
J>ut can we conclude from it that 
Plato really considered the world 
as alternately moved by the di 
vinity, and again (in an opposite 
direction, and with a complete 
change of relations) by its fyi0vros 
iridviu,ia, while he lays down in 
question and answer that with the 
changed direction of the world s 
revolution the life of the things 
in it must also suffer a change ? 



in places where it is impossible lie can be stating his 
real and literal meaning. We cannot, it is true, rely 
much on inferences from the Platonic writings, never 
perhaps drawn by Plato himself; 8 but the case is 
different with the assertion in Timseus (37 D, 38 C), 
that Time first began with the world. This assertion 

Again, if there is any one point in 
the Platonic system established by 
the most distinct explanations on 
the part of its author, it is the 
doctrine that the Ideas are un 
created. Yet, as we have seen 
supra, p. 226, 3, Plato spc-aks of 
God as the creator of the Ideas ; 
and in his lectures explained his 
views as to their origin in such a 
way that Aristotle (as in the ques 
tion of the formation of the world) 
regards a yevecris T&V apidjULuv not 
as merely TOV deuprja-ai eveKev. 
(Metaph. xiv. 4 beginn.) That the 
apid/ji-oi here are to be understood 
as the Ideal numbers, and that the 
passage refers not to the Platonists 
only, but to Plato himself, is shown 
from Alex, and Metaph. i. 6, 987, 
b. 33 ; Schol. 551 a. 38 sqq., be 
sides all our other authorities for 
this doctrine of Plato s. The 
literal interpreters of the cosmo 
gony in the Tinueus might appeal 
confidently to Plato s own ex 
planation if the words (Tim. 26 D) 
v6ov d\\ a\r- 

divbv \6yov elva.1 Trdfj./ui.y& TTOV, were 
applied to it. Htumpf, indeed, loc. 
cit., thinks that he can support his 
theory by these words. But, as a 
glance will show, they refer, not 
to the picture of the formation of 
the worl i, but to Critias narrative 
of the struggle between the Athe 
nians and the Atlantids. This is 
a Tr\a<r6ds fj.v6o$ if ever there was 

one, and yet Plato expressly says 
it is not. The discrepancies before 
mentioned (p. 301 sq.), in his ex 
pressions as to Matter, and in the 
discussion of the Protagoras, quoted 
p. 188, 40, might also be adduced 
to show how little the apparently 
didactic tone of a passage justifies 
us in considering everything in it 
to be Plato s scientific conviction, 
and how many reasons there are, 
in a question like the present, for 
thinking twice before we commit 
ourselves to an assertion (Ueber- 
weg, plat. Schr. 287 sq.), more 
suited to a theological apologist 
than a historical enquirer. If 
Plato (Tim. 28 B) declared him 
self for a created world, believing 
all the while that it was eternal 
(which, however, the passage itself 
does not suppose unconditionally) ; 
then, says Ueberweg, we can 
only characterise his position by 
terms which we are heartily 
ashamed of applying to him. He 
must either have been a hypocrite 
or a fool/ Which of the two was 
lie when he wrote the above quoted 
passage of the Politicus, or when 
he ventured to declare the fable of 
the people of Atlantis to be true 
history ? 

8 That e.g. the world, if God 
(Tim. 29 E) created it out of good- 
ness, must be just as eternal as the 
goodness of God. 


is perfectly logical if a beginning of the world be 

assumed, for that which alone previously existed, the 

world of Ideas, is not in Time, and empty Time is 
nothing. But it is all the more difficult to see how 
notwithstanding this, Plato can always speak of that 
which was before the formation of the world, 9 while he 
nevertheless acknowledges (37 E sqq.) that this Before 
and After are only possible in Time. 10 The unori- 
ginated pre-existence of the soul which Plato taught, 11 
excludes a beginning of the world ; for the Soul is 
itself a part of the world, and cannot be conceived 
without the body which it forms and animates. These 
contradictions may not suffice to prove that Plato 
deliberately made use of the theory of a historical 
creation as being in itself untrue, retaining as his own 
belief that the world had no beginning ; but they at 
least show that the theory was not brought forward 
by him didactically, as part of his doctrine; that it 
was regarded as one of the presentations he occasionally 
employed without feeling moved to investigate or to 
pronounce upon them definitely. 

This view is countenanced not only by the fact that 

many disciples of Plato have explained the origin of 

; the world in Time as merely figurative investiture ; 12 

but also by the whole composition of the Timrcus. For 

f "?- 3 OA,34B,C,52D,53B. World-soul sketched in the Ti- 

. * ? Sqq ; Meno m8ens but the unregulated soul of 

86 A; lluedo 106 D; Eep. x. the Laws that is without beginning 

11; A, &c. ; cf. Laws, vi. 781 E, has been refuted, p 338 ll V 

where the supposition that man- The Plwedrus expressly designates 

kind is without beginning or end the soul, which it has proved to 

is viewed as at least possible and be without beginning, as the mover 

even probable. of heaven. 
1 The theory that it is not the r - >s ee note 5. 


the formation of the universe, instead of following the 
chronological sequence of its parts, as would be the 
case in a historical narration, is represented altogether 
according to ideal moments. Plato speaks first very 
fully of the works of Reason in the world, then (47 V* 
sqq.) of the works of Necessity; and lastly, of the 
world itself (69 sqq.), as the common product of both 
these causes. In the first of these divisions, we are 
told of the composition of the corporeal elements, 
before that of the World-soul which preceded this pro 
cess ; and we find that the same object, because it may be 
regarded from two different points of view, .is doubly re 
presented like the above-mentioned origin of the ele 
ments. Thus by its very form, this represention show s 
that it was designed to set forth not so much the his 
torical order of events in the creation as the universal 
causes and constituents of the World as it now exists. 
The mythical element, therefore, becomes strongest at 
those points where something historically new is intro 
duced (-30 B, 35 B, 3G B, 37 B, 41 A, &c.). 13 

II. The formation of the Elements. The esta 
blishment of a well-ordered universe required that 
all bodies should be reducible to the four ele 
ments. 14 But here the two ways of regarding the 
elements the teleological and the physical directly 

ia The fact of Aristotle s taking name 0"rojxe?oj>, according to Kti- 

Plato s exposition literally is no derails (ap. Simpl. Phys. 2 a. u. ; 

proof. Similar misconceptions of Schol. in Arist. 322 a. 8), and 

the mythical form are common in Phavorinus, ap. Diog. iii. 24. He 

him ; see my Plat. Stud. p. 207. gave the same name to his most 

The doubts there expressed against general causes, the unit and the 

the meteorology I now retract. Great-and-Small (Arist. Metapli. 

14 Plato was the iirst to use the xiv. 1, 1087 b. 13). 


eucouuter one another. From the teleological point of 
view the Timaeus (:J1 B sqq.) says: The world being 
corporeal, must of necessity be also visible and tan 
gible : it could not be visible without fire, nor tan 
gible without earth, which is the ground of all that is 
solid. .Midway between these, however, there must be 
a third element which combines them; and as the 
fairest combination is Proportion, this Third must 
stand in proportion to both. If planes only were con 
cerned, one mean would be sufficient, but as bodies 
are in question, two are necessary. 15 W e thus obtain 

]j After Plato loc. cit. has shown 
that the body of th? world must 
consist of fire and earth, he con 
tinues : Two always require a third 
as their 5e<r/i6j fr /xory d/j.<f)oiif 
i;vi>aywy6s ; the most beautiful 5e- 
<r/j.b$ is the proportion (dpaXo-yia) 
found where, out of three d/xfytoi, 
oyKoi, or 8vvdfj.ets (here, as in 
ThcR t. 147 D sqq., not powers, 
but roots ), the second stands to 
the third as the first to the second, 
and to the first as the third to the 
second. Ei /afr ovv tiriireSov, 
fiddos 5e fJLySfr ix w 5ei yiyvecrOai 
T:J rov iravrbs <r>ia, fiia /j-eaoT-qs 
o.v f^Yipicei TO. re peff eavTijs guvSe iv 
KiSl eavryv. vvv 5e . . . . crrepeoeidrj 
yap avrbv TrpocrrJKev eiVcu, TO. 5 
orepfa /j.ia ovdtTTore, duo 52 
del ^ecrorTjres ZvvapfjdtTTOVffiP, and 
therefore (iod has put water and 
air^ between fire and curtli, and 
Jtwigned to them the relations 
stated above. This passage gives 
rise to considerable difficulties, 
even apart from the erroneous ar- 
hficiality of the wliolc deduct ion. 
t is true (as Bockh shows, DC 
Plat. corp. mund. fabrica, reprinted 
Irith valuable additions in M^ 

Klein. Schr. iii. 2^9-265) thaf, 
under certain determinations which 
we must suppose Plato assumed, 
between any two ewi-rreda there is 
one mean proportional, and between 
any two solids two proportionals, 
whether the expressions trlmto; 
and ffrepeov be understood in a 
geometrical or in im arithmetical 
sense. Jn the former case it is 
clear that not only between any two 
squares but also be .ween any two 
plane rectilineal figures similar to 
one another there is one mean 
proportional, between any two 
cubes and any two parallelepipeds 
Similar to one another there arc 
two mean proportionals. In the 
latter, not only between any two 
square numbers, but also between 
any two plane numbers (i.e. num 
bers with two factors) there is one 
rational proportional, and not only 
between any two cubic number* 
but also between any two solid 
numbers generally (i.e. formed out 
ot thno factors there are two 
rational proportionals, provided 
that the factors of the one number 
stand to one another in the same 
relation as those of the second 

J{ JJ 



four elements, which among them form one propor 
tion ; so that fire is related to air, as air to water ; and 
air to water, as water to earth. 

number. (K.g. between the square 
numbers 2x2 = 4 and 3 x 3 = 9 
there is the proportional number 
2x3 = : 4 : 6 = 6 : 9; between 
the plane non-square numbers 
2x3 = 6 and 4 x G = 24 the propor 
tional number 2 x (5 or 3x4, be 
cause 6 : 12 = 12 : 24. Between 
the cubic numbers 2x2x2 = 8 and 

3 x 3 x 3 = 27 occur the two numbers 
2 x 2 x 3 = 12 and 2x3x3 = 18, 
because 8 : 12= 12 : 18 = 18 : 27 ; 
between the non-cubic solid numbers 

4 x 6 x 8 = 192 and G x 9 x 12 = 648 
occur the two numbers 4x6x12 
or 4x9x8 or 6x6x8 = 288 and 
4 x 9 x 12 or 6 x 9 x 8 or 6 x 6 x 12 

= 432, because 192 ; 288 = 2SS 
: 432=432 : 648; the same holds 
good in the analogous cases in 
planes and solids.) But Plato 
asserts, not merely that there is 
one mean proportional between any 
two planes and two between any 
two solids, but that the latter 
are by no means bound by one 
/ue0-6r?7s. Such a generality, how 
ever, is not correct ; as between 
two similar planes or plane num 
bers under certain circumstances 
there occur two further mean pro 
portionals besides the one mean 
(e.g. between 2- = 4 and 16 2 = 256 
there come, not only 2x16 = 32, 
but also 4 2 = 16 and 8 L> = 64, became 
both 4 : 32 = 32 : 256 and 4 : 1(3 
16 ; 64 = 64 : 256), so between 
two similar solids and two analo 
gously formed solid numbers, to 
gether with the two proportionals 
which always lie between them, 
there occurs "one besides in certain 
-cases. If two solid numbers are at 
the same time analogously formed 

plane numbers, there result between 
them, not only two mean propor 
tionals, but one besides (e.g. be 
tween 2 3 = 8 and 8 3 = 512 there are 
the two proportionals 32 and 128, 
and also the one mean 64, because 
8 = 1 x 8 and 512 = 8 x 64 ; between 
these comes 8x8, or what is the 
same thing 1 x 64) ; and if the 
roots of two cubic numbers have a 
mean proportional which can be 
expressed in whole numbers, the 
cube of the latter is the mean 
proportional between the former. 
i/rhisis the case, e.g. between 4 3 = 64 
and 9 :} = 729; their mean propor 
tionals are not only 4x4x9= 144 
and 4x9x9 = 324, but also 6 :{ , 
for as 4 : 6 = 6 : 9, 4 :! : 6 : > = 6 :! : 9 :: , 
i.e. 64 : 216 = 216:729. So again, 
between 5 3 =125 and 20 :i = 8000 
there are the two proportionals 500 
and 2000, and also the one propor 
tional 1000, for as 5 : 10 = 10 : 20, 
5 :! : 10 :: =10 :? : 20 3 , i.e. 125 : 1000 
= 1000 : 8000.) AVe cannot sup 
pose that this was unknown to 
Plato. How then arc we to ex 
plain his assertion that the (rrepea 
never have a /uecr^T^s between 
lliem? The simplest explanation 
would be to translate his words : 
Solids are never connected by one 
/xe(r6T?7s, but always by two at 
least. And this explanation might 
indeed be defended by examples, 
e.g. Arist. Metaph. ix. 5, 1048 a. 
8, c. 8, 1050 b. 33, xii. 3, 1070 a. 
18, and others. It is, however, 
almost too simple ; as Plato loc. 
cit. wishes to prove that two inter 
mediate terms must be inserted 
between fire and earth, his object 
is to show not merely that at 



This, though Plato may have seriously intended 
it, is in reality but a flight of fancy. 16 The four ele- 

least (\vo terms, but that neither 
more nor less than two terms 
occur between two solids; and as 
the two proportionals between cer 
tain fTriTreSa belong to a different 
series from that to which the one 
occurring in all of them belongs, 
and the one proportional between 
certain areped belongs to a different 
series from that to which the two 
proportionals occurring in all be 
long, we should still have that 
which Plato denies within each of 
those proportionals. Ancient and 
modem interpreters therefore seek 
variously to limit Plato s statement 
to such crepca as have actually 
only two proportionals between 
them. (Hee the Review in Martin, 
Ktudes, i. 337 sqq.) Nicomachus, 
tor example (Aritlmi. ii. 24, p. 69), 
understands by them, not merely 
cubic numbers generally, but still 
more definitely KV^OL avvexets (1 :! , 
2 :! , I5 :! , &c.), and by the plane 
numbers he understands rerpdyum 
ffvvex-r]. ( )f such numbers of course 
the position holds good without 
exception : between 2- and 3-, 3- 
and 4-, & c . there is only one ra 
tional mean proportional] between 
- >:! and ;j :! , ;; :! and 4 :! , &c. there are 
only two. But if Plato meant 
only these special cases, he would 
not have expressed himself so 
generally, and he must have given 
some reasons why fire and earth 
were to be exclusively regarded 
m the light of this analogy. 
Pfartin, who exhaustively refutes 
the elucidations of Stallbaum and 
Cousin ^Muller, PI. "VVW. vi. 2.V.I 
sqq. can hardly be brought under 
consideration), wishes to make out 
that by eTrtVeda are meant only the 
numbers which have two factors, 

and by the oreped only the numbers 
which have three prime numbers 
as factors: Konitzer (Ucb. d. Ele- 
mentarkorper nach. PI. Tim. 1846, 
p. 13 sqq.) would limit them still 
closer to the squares and cubes of 
prime numbers. With this elu 
cidation Susemihl, Genet. Entw. 
ii. 347 sq. agrees, and Bockh (d. 
Kosm. Kyst. PI. 17) allowed him 
self to be won over to it. In the 
end, however, he returned to his 
original view (Kl. Schr. iii. 253 
sqq.), seeing no justification for the 
limitation of Plato s statement to 
the plane and solid numbers de 
rived from prime numbers, and the 
further limitation to square and 
cubic numbers. He appeals to the 
fact that in the cases where there arc 
two proportionals besides the one 
mean between two planes or plane 
numbers, and one proportional be 
sides the two means between solids 
or solid numbers, these latter do 
not proceed from the geometrical 
or arithmetical construction, and 
that two plane numbers can only 
have two rational proportionals 
between them, if they are at the 
same time similar solid bodies, 
and two solid numbers can only 
have one rational proportional, 
if they are at the same time 
similar plane numbers. This so 
lution seems to me to be the 
best. If there are two propor 
tionals between ^TrnreSa. and one 
between crreped, this is merely ac 
cidental, and it does not follow 
that the one are fniireda, the 
other ffTepea, and Plato accordingly 
thinks that this case may be left 
out in his construction of the ele 

" ! Hegel, Gesch. d. Phil. ii. 221 

B Ii 2 



ments are only in appearance derived and placed in a 
certain order, by means of an external reference of 
aim, and a false arithmetical analogy. This order pro 
ceeds from the rarer and lighter to the denser and 
heavier ; and the idea of a geometrical proportion could 
not properly be applied to it, 17 Still more remarkable 
is the physical derivation of the elements. 18 Plato 
here repeats Philolaus 19 theory, that the fundamental 
form of fire is the Tetrahedron ; of air, the Octahedron ; 
of water, the Icosahedron ; and of earth, the Cube : 2U 
the fifth regular figure, the Dodecahedron, he does 
not connect with an element. 21 By compounding these 

sqq., is unnecessarily surprised at 
this, and misinterprets it. 

17 Ancient and modern com 
mentators fall into contradictions 
ns soon as they try to prove the 
existence and extent of a propor 
tion between the four elements of 
the same kind as that between the 
terms of a quadruple arithmetical 

18 Tim. 53 C sqq. ; cf. Martin, ii. 
234 sqq. 

10 Sec vol. i. 350 sqq. 

- I lato, 55 D sqq., enume 
rates the considerations \yhich led 
him to adopt this ^classification ; 
vi/. mobility, magnitude, weight, 
greater or less capability of pene 
trating other bodies. 

- 1 He merely says, 55 C : 2ri 5e 
oi cr^s ^I crrciaews /u.tas Trf{J.irTr)s CTTI 
76 TTO.V 6 6ebs avrr} KaTexp^a 
(Kflvo diafaypatywi . What is the 
meaning of 5tafw7/)a0e , and what 
part is played by the dodecahe 
dron? Susemihl, ii. 413, explains: 
He painted the universe with 
figures ; and refers this painting 
to the adornment of the neavcns 

with stars (Tim. 40 A ; Rep. vii. 
529 C), to which the dodecahedron 
might be applied, as coming nearest 
to the sphere. The stars (Rep. 
vii. 529 D sqq.) are not perfect 
spheres, but (on the analogy of the 
owSeKdffKVTOi (rcpoupai, to which the 
earth is compared, Phtcdo, 100 13) 
approach, like the universe, the 
form of the dodecahedron. It seems 
more natural to refer the Stafw- 
7pa<e (which is not necessarily 
colour-painting) to the plan or 
design of the world which preceded 
its formation. The world and the 
stars too are spherical in lorn), 
and while the earth (Tim. 33 H, 
40 A) is a perfect sphere, the dode 
cahedron is of all regular solids 
that which nearest approaches to 
the sphere, that on which a sphere 
can bs most easily described, and 
that therefore which could be most 
readily laid down as the plan of 
the world. The dodecahedron of 
the present passage used to be 
taken as the plan of the author ; 
Philolaus seems to have been 
this opinion (cf. vol. i. 350 sq 

THE A7,/-;j//-AY /X 


bodies themselves, not out of corporeal atoms, but out 
of planes of a certain kind, 22 by again resolving 

an - d no] 1 r! im l ! ie v 1>latonic K P in - to Plato and not to Philolaus, who 
mis Jtf ( , and Xenocrates, who, classes the dodecahedron as an 
ap. Simpl. Phys. 205 b. Schol. in 
Arist. 427 a. 15, attributes this 
view to Plato. Although the later 
interpreters follow him in this view 
(see Martin, iii. 140 sq.), we cannot 
ngree with him as to the form of 
the doctrine contained in the Pla 
tonic writings. In the Phsedo, 109 
B sq., Ill A sq. (cf. Crat. 109 B), 
Plato understands by aether, in ac 
cordance with ordinary usage, the 
purer air lying next to our atmo 
sphere, and still more definitely he 
says, Tim. 58 D : d<?/>os TO e^cn/e- 

*v iy *\ w,/\vL/yu,c* Vi. 

The aether is not a fifth element with 
him. lie could not admit the dode 
cahedron (as Martin proves, ii. 245 
sqq.) in his construction of the 
elements, because it is bounded, not 
by triangles, but equilateral pen- 
tagons, which again are composed 
neither (as Stallbaum thinks, ad 
loc.) of equilateral nor of rectan 
gular triangles of one of the two 
Platonic elementary forms. The 
conclusion is, that the theory which 
constructs the elementary bodies 
out of ^ triangles, and explains the 
transition of one element into 
.mother by the separation and dif 
ferent combination of its elemen 
tary triangles, belongs originally 

elementary form with the four 
other bodies. The form which this 
theory takes in Plato must be 
foreign to Philolaus, because Plato s 
reduction of matter to pure space 
is unknown to him. Plato himself 
clearly gives us to understand that 
this discovery is his own, when he 
introduces the enquiry about the 
material primal cause and the for 
mation of the four elements, Tim. 
48 B, with the remark: vvv yap 
ouSei s TTW yeveaiv avTu>i> HC^WK^V 
d\\ us eldocri, irvp 6 ri irort etr 
/ecu f 

, oroi^eta TOV ,. 

-- All superficies, he says, 53 ( 
sqq., consist of triangles, and all 
triangles arise out of two different 
right-angled triangles, the isosceles 
and the scalene ; of the scalene, 
however, the best and consequently 
the most congenial for the forma 
tion of the elements is that of 
which the lesser cathetus is half as 
large as the hypothenuse. Out of 
six such triangles arises an equi 
lateral triangle, and out of four 
isosceles triangles arises a square. 
(Jut of the square is formed tho 
cube, out of equilateral triangles the 
three remaining bodies. (There 
fore, 54 B sq. : rpiyuva t top rd 



them ultimately into triangles, in the transition of the 
elements 28 one into another, he clearly shows that 
the ground which underlies them is not a Matter 
that fills space, but space itself. From this ground 
these determinate bodies are to be formed in such a 
manner that certain parts of space are mathematically 
limited, and comprehended in definite figures. 24 Not 

lacxriteXovs rpiyuvov 
The fact that he here attributes to 
the square four and not two, to the 
equilateral triangle six and not 
two elementary triangles, is ac 
counted for by his wish to resolve 
them into their smallest parts (cf. 
Tim. 48 B). For this purpose he 
divided the equilateral triangle by 
the perpendicular, and the square 
by the diagonal (cf. Martin, ii. 
239 : according to Plutarch the Py 
thagoreans emphasised the three 
fold bisection of the equilateral 
triangle by its perpendicular as an 
important quality of it ; see vol. i. 
337, 2). From the combination 
of the elements which he assumes 
Plato infers that only a part of 
them change into one another ; v. 
next note. 

23 54 C : not all the elements 
pass into one another, hut only 
the three higher : e/c yap cvbs 
rec^vKdra \vdevruv re T&V 
iroXXtt oyuKpa CK T&V avrdov 
e^^e^a TO. irpocrrjKovTa 
eauroFs o XTj/.cara, Ka.1 fffJ-iKpa &TO.V 
av TroXXa Kara ra rplyuva. StacrTrapT?, 
yevo/j.evos els dpi6/j.6s evbs 6yt<ov 
fj.e ya 6.TroTe\eaeLev SLV &\\o eWos ev. 
From this point of view the sub 
ject is further treated, 5G 1) sqq. 
If one element is split up by an 
other of smaller parts, or a smaller 
mass of the latter crushed by a 

larger mass of the former, or if 
again the elementary bodies of the 
smaller are united by the pressure 
of the larger, then out of one part 
of water arise two parts of air and 
one part of fire, out of one part of 
air two parts of fire, and vice versa; 
the transition of one element into 
another is brought about by the 
elementary triangles out of which 
it is composed being loosened from 
one another, and by a new com 
bination being formed of the ele 
mentary bodies in a different 
numerical proportion. The whole 
conception is put in a clear light 
by Plato s words, 81 PJ sq., on the 
nourishment, grovvth, old age, and 
death of the living being. 

- 4 If Plato presupposed for his 
construction of the elements a 
Material in the ordinary sense, he 
must either have viewed it as a 
qualitatively equable and quanti 
tatively undistinguished mass, out 
of which the elements arose, be 
cause certain parts of this mass 
transiently take the form of the 
elementary bodies cube, tetrahe 
dron, &c. (in which case there 
would be not the slightest reason 
why every element could not come 
out of every other) ; or he must 
have supposed that at the forma 
tion of the elements the mass was 
made in the form of corporeal 
elements for all time, .But then 



indivisible bodies, but indivisible surfaces, are supposed 
as the primary constituents of the corporeal. 25 These 
produce the smallest bodies by combining with certain 
figures. Bodies are therefore not only limited by 
planes, but also compounded out of them ; 2C a Matter 
which assumes corporeal figures is not recognised. 

From the difference of their figures quantitative 
distinctions also arise in these elemental bodies. Of 
those which consist of triangles of the same kind, 
each is greater or less, according to the number of 
such triangles which it contains. 27 Similar differences 
are found within particular elements. The triangles 

any transition of one clement into 
another would be impossible, and 
what according to Plato is true 
only of the earth, but according to 
Kmpedocles of the elements, and 
to Democritus of the atoms viz. 
that they may intermingle with, 
but cannot change into, one another 
must hold good of all of them. In 
neither case could he speak of the 
resolution of the elements into 
triangles, and their formation out 
of triangles, in the way we have 

Martin, in his otherwise ex 
cellent exposition, ii. 241 sq., is 
not quite right in saying with 
Simpl. De < ce!o, Schol. in Ar. ~>lo 
a. 37 ; Philop. gen. et corr. 47 
a. o.) : >SV rhaniih- il, x jiurex 
planes (jit if decrit e*t 
aivir quelquc > j>aisseur 

dcx fi-in /ft-n mlitrr* 


figure* qn il iln-ril, cf */ r f ,n 
ces feuilles rtuuies de 

f.i-tt r n:itre des quatre cor fix i- 

Wont il park, mat s a laisser / ,,<- 
tericiir complement vide, tou.tes 

les transformations hidi^uees .sY.v- 

pliquent jiarfaitement 

Non.<t con-si derons done les tri 
angles et les carres de Plato it 
co mine des fetiil es minces de ma- 
tiere corporelle. Plato docs not, 
as Martin believes, inaccurately 
call plane bodies planes ; he i s 
thinking of actual planes, which, 
however, he treats as plane bodies. 
This is easily explained, if mathe 
matical abstractions are once taken 
as something real more real than 

28 So too Aristotle, who hero 
understands the Platonic doctrines 
quite correctly: De (Velo, iii 1 
298 b.^3. Ibid. c. 7, 8; :;<>5 .-, 
35, ;;oi) a. sqq., gen. et corr. i. 2 
- 515 b. 3D sqq. ii. 1, ;52;i a. 21 sq. 
cf. Alex. Aphr. (Jua*st. nat. ii. l;j 
against- the variant opinion of 
many Platonists. 

-" 54 C, 50 A, I). Ho\v the earth 
stands to the three other elements 
as regards the magm tu.!** of its 
smallest bodily parts is not here 
stated : but as it is the heaviest 
element, it must have the largest 
parts. ( f. ,0 K. 



of each sort (and consequently also the elemental 
bodies consisting of an equal number of such trian 
gles) differ in magnitude, 28 and thus from the be- 
ginning there is a diversity in kinds of matter, which, 
coupled with the mixture of these kinds in unequal 
proportions, perfectly explains the infinite multiplicity 
of things. 

The elemental composition of bodies regulates their 
distribution in space. Each element has its natural 
place in the universe, to which it tends, and in which, 
in regard to its preponderating mass, it has its dwell 
ing. 29 Lightness and heaviness are therefore relative 
terms, the signification of which changes according 
to position : on earth, the earthly element appears the 
heavier ; in the fiery sphere, fire. 30 There can never be 

- 8 57 C sq. ; this can be recon 
ciled with the previous quotation, 
by supposing (with Martin, ii. 254) 
that the largest part of fire is never 
so large as the smallest part of 
air, &c. 

- 9 52 D sqq., 57 B sqq. Piato 
I) ere derives the separation of mat 
ter in space from the original mo 
tion of matter: the result is that 
the lighter rises and tiie heavier 
sinks, just as in the winnowing of 
corn. But immediately after, he 
explains, 57 E sq., the motion itself 
as purely physical, springing out 
of the dissimilarity of the elements. 
It is, however, difficult to conceive 
how elementary distinctions and 
properties could have come into 
matter before God divided the 
latter into elementary forms, fiom 
which alone the distinctions can 
proceed. We may, therefore, class 
this point amongst the mythical 

parts of the Timssus ; cf. p. ;] Jl 
sq., 304 sq. 

:!0 From 50 B we might infer 
that Plato identified heaviness and 
lightness with greatness and small- 
ness. Fire, he says, is the lightest 
of the three superior elements, be 
cause it consists of the smallest 
number of equal-sized parts, and 
similarly the two others in pro 
portion. Hence the further notion, 
that, just as smallness is merely a 
smaller amount of greatness, so 
lightness is only a smaller amount 
of heaviness. Everything tends 
to the mean ; that which has large 
parts tends to it more powerfully 
than that which has smaller parts. 
So the latter is moved upward not 
of its own nature, but by the pros- 
sure of heavy bodies. (So De- 
mocritus ; v. vol. i. 701, 713.) Plato 
himself, however, expressly rejects 
the bupposition, 02 (" sqq., that 

77/ /; 


a complete separation of material substances. The 
external orbit of the universe, being circular and con 
tinuous, presses together the bodies contained in it, 31 
and will not allow of any empty space between them. 32 
Consequently the smaller bodies are crowded into the 
interstices of the greater, and there results a continual 
mixture of the different kinds of matter. 33 The per 
petual motion and decomposition of the elements is a 
consequence of this admixture. As long as an ele 
mental body is among its kindred, it remains un 
changed ; for among bodies which are similar and uni 
form none can change, or be changed by, another. If, 
on the contrary, smaller proportions of one element are 

everything moves downward by 
nature, and upward only as a conse*- 
quence of some compulsion. Jn 
the universe, there is no up and 
down, only an inner and an outer ; 
nor does he imagine any general 
striving towards the mean, cer 
tainly not a universal attraction of 
all matter. He simply savs that 
every element has its "natural 
place, out of which it can be re 
moved only by force : to this force 
it offers greater opposition the 
greater iis mass. The ratural 
place of all bodies is the KO.TW. 
Towards this they strive ; and the 
heaviness of a body consists merely 
in its stiiving to unite itself with 
what is congenial (or to prevent 
its separation from it), j fitter, ii. 
400, wrongly infers from Tim. 61 
0, that the elements have sensation 
together with this striving; the 
words aiffdijaii virdpxfiv dd sig 
nify (as Stallbaum rightly explains 
that they must be an object of 
::1 C f.vol. i. 374,2: 037 Kmped. 

v. 133). 

:!J 58 A sqcj., GO ( . Kmpedocles 
und ^Anaxagoras, following the, 
Klcatics (see vol. i. 472 > 
516; 020, 2; 803, 1), had denied 
Void. Hence a double difficulty 
to Plato. First, his four elemen 
tary bodies never fill up any space 
so completely that no interrnedialo 
space is left > Arist, Do Co?lo, iii. 
S, beginn. , to say nothing of the 
fact that no sphere can bc cntiivlv 
filled (.ut by rectilineal figures. 
And the resolution of an elemen 
tary body into its component tri 
angles must produce a void each 
time, as there was nothing lie 
tween them Martin, ii. 2;Y> sj. 
Plato must, either have disregarded 
these difficulties which, in t],,. 
case of the first, would have been 
strange for a mathematician to do 
or else he dot s not mean to deny 
void absolutely, but merely to ;iy- 
sert that no space remains void 
which can at all be taken posses 
sion of by a body. 

:;:; ;.s A S q. 



contained in greater proportions of another, in conse 
quence of the universal pressure they are crushed or 
cut up ; 34 and their constituent parts must either pass 
over into the form of the stronger element, or make 
their escape to their kindred element in their natural 
| place. Thus there is a perpetual ebb and flow of the 
! elements : the diversity of Matter is the cause of its 
constant motion. 35 The sum of the four elements con- 
\stitutes the universe. (Tim. 32 sqq.) 

34 Further details on this reso 
lution of the elements, 60 E sqq. 

35 56 C-58, C (with 57 E : 
Klvf]ffiv eis aj>(i}]*a\6Ti>iTa del Tt.dC)- 
Hev, cf. the quotation Ft. i. 302-3). 
This doctrine of the elements is 
followed by a discussion of sepa 
rate phenomena, remarkable for 
its acuteness, though naturally 
insufficient for the demands of 
modern knowledge. He treats 
next, 58 C sqq., of the different 
kinds of fire, air, and particu 
larly water, under which he in 
cludes liquid (i>5w/) vypbv}, but also 
what is fusible (#5. X VT ^ V \ * ne 
metals, and then ice, hail, snow, 
hoar frost, the juice of plants 
^particularly wine), oil, honey, 
o-rrbs (not opium, as Martin thinks, 
ii. 262, but the acids obtained from 
plants to curdle milk, so called in 
Homer). Further, 60 B sqq. he 
treats of the various kinds of earth, 
stone, bricks, natron, lava, glass, 
wax, &c. ; 61 J) sqq., of warmth 
and cold, hardness and softness, 
heaviness and lightness ; 64 A sq. 
of the conditions under which any 
thing becomes the object of sensa 
tions of pleasure or pain ; 65 B sqq. 
of the qualities of things percept 
ible by taste ; 66 D sqq. on smells, 
which all arise either in the tran 

sition of air into water, or of water 
into air; in the former case they 
are called ofilx^-n, in tlie latter 

: 67 A sqq. cf. 80 A sq. 
treats of tones; 67 0-69 A (cf. 
Meno, 76 C sq.), of colours. To 
explain these phenomena Plato 
starts from his pro-suppositions as 
to the fundamental parts of the 
elements. He seeks to show who 
the separate bodies, according to 
the composition of their smallest 
parts and the extent of the inter 
mediate space, at one time admit 
air and fire to pass through, but 
are burst by water, at another 
time forbid the entrance of water 
and admit fire. Hence he con 
cludes that the two former are 
destructible by water, and the 
latter by fire. He explains the 
hardening of molten metals, the 
freezing of water, the condensa 
tion of earth into stone, and the 
like, by supposing that the parts 
of fire and water contained in 
them, passing out and seeking 
their natural "place, press the sur 
rounding air against the materials 
in question, and s.~> condense them. 
Similarly (79 E-80 C ; cf. Martin, 
ii. 342 sqq.), he tries to explain 
the downward motion of lightning^ 
the apparently attractive power of 

////; ELEMENTS. 


III. The, World-System. The further description 
of the universe contains much that is of a specific cha 
racter, distinguishing it from the theories of Anaxa- 
goras and Democritus, as also from the system of Phi- 
lolaus ; though in its whole spirit it greatly resembles 
the latter. The shape of the universe is that of a 
globe. 36 Within this globe three divisions are to be 
distinguished, answering to the three Pythagorean 
regions of the world, though they are not actually 
identified with them by Plato. The earth is placed as 
a round ball in the centre, 37 at the axis of the universe. 
Then follow the sun, the moon, and the five other 
planets, in circles described around the earth, and 
arranged according to the intervals of the harmonic 
system. The heaven of fixed stars, one undivided 

amber and the magnet, and other 
phenomena. He observes that 
every sensation depends upon a 
motion of the object which occa 
sions it ; this motion is transmitted 
through the intervening space to 
the senses, and further to the soul, 
&o. I cannot here enter further 
into this portion of the dialogue ; 
much useful matter is given by 
.Martin, ii. 254-294: Steinlmrt, vi. 
251 s<|. ; Susemihl, ii. 425 sq., 432 

16 This is so according to the 
Tim. 33 J> sqq. because the sphere 
is the most perfect figure, and be 
cause the universe needs no limbs. 
37 40 \\ (with which cf. Jiockh, 

!osm. Syst. Plat. p. 59 sqq.; Klein. 
?chr. ii i. 294 sqq.^ : cf. G2 E; 

liwdo, 108 K. The statement of 

Fheophrastus apud Pint, quaest. 

lat. viii. 1, p. 1006; Xnma, c. ii. 

-viz. that Plato in his later years 

regretted having made the earth 
the middle point of the universe 
in the Timaeus, because this be 
longed to a better, i.e. the central 
fire is with good reason suspected 
by Martin, ii. 01, and Bockh, ( osm. 
Syst. 144 sqq., because ^1) it rests 
merely on a report which might 
easily have been transferred to 
Plato by Academics of Pythagorean 
tendencies (Arist. DeCcelo, ii. 13 
293 a. 27) ; because (2) even the 
latest works of Plato display no 
trace of any such opinion : and (3) 
the Kpinomis, which was com 
posed by the editor of the laws 
one of Plato s most strictly astro 
nomical pupils, and designed for 
the astronomical completion of 
this latter dialogue is acquaint <<! 
only with the geocentric system of 
the Timfcus : see 98> A sqq., 990 
A cq. 



sphere, forms the outermost circle. 38 The earth is im 
movable. 39 The heaven of fixed stars turns in one day 

:> 8 36 B sqq., 40 A sq. (On the 
distance of the planets, cf. p. 350.) 
Besides the above conceptions, 
(Jruppe, Kosrn. Syst. d. Gr. 125, 
would attribute to Plato the doc 
trines of the epicycle, and the ec 
centric ; cf. against him Bb ckh, 
Kosm. Syst, 126 sq. A different 
system from that of the Timseus 
(viz. the Philolaic system) has 
been suspected in the Phaedrus, 
246 E sqq. : I think, however, 
that Snsemihl, Genet.^ Entw. i. 
234 sq. is right in limiting the in 
fluence of Philolaus to a few 
traits. I cannot agree with Mar 
tin (ii. 138 sq., 114), and Stallbaum 
(in mythum Plat, de div. amoris 
ortu, cf. Susemihl in Jahn s Jahrb. 
Ixxv, 589 sq.), in trying to make 
out the twelve gods of the Phsedrus 
by adding the three regions of 
water, air, and aether to the earth, 
and the eight circles of the stars. 
Plato would not have called these 
elements gods, and the description 
of moving does not suit them. The 
twelve gods of the popular religion 
are meant, and astronomical deter 
minations are transferred to them. 
( onsequently we can draw no con 
elusion from the passage. Further 
details apud Susemihl. 

39 Bockh has shown that this is 
Plato s real meaning, De Plat. 
Syst. Coel. glob. p. vi. sqq. (1810), 
and subsequently in his treatise on 
the ( osmic system of Plato, pp. 14, 
75, and Kl. Schr. loc. cit, (in op 
position to Gruppe, die Kosm. Syst. 
d. Gr. 1851, p. 1 sqq. and Grote, 
Plato s doctrine of the rotation of 
the earth, 1860, cf. Plato, iii. 257 ; 
Martin, vi. 86 sqq., and Sus-emihl 
in Jahn s Jalirb. Ixxv, 598 sq. 

against a follower of Gruppe). 
This becomes in the highest degree 
probable from the circumstance 
that Plato, Tim. 39 B, derives day 
and night from the motion of the 
heaven of the fixed stars, and, 38 
C sqq., 39 B ; Rep. x. 616 C sqq., 
throughout he reckons the sun 
among the planets ; by the former 
the daily, and by the latter the 
yearly motion of the earth is kept 
up. It might be said that we 
could account for the motion of 
the -constellations by supposing 
that, together with the daily revo 
lution of the firmament and the 
individual motions of the planets, 
there is also a revolution of the 
earth, either from east to west, or 
west to east, but far less rapid 
than that of the heaven of the 
fixed stars. But Plato has no 
where suggested this idea, nor 
made the least effort to explain 
the phenomena on such j\ supposi 
tion. There was nothing to in 
duce him to make such an artificial 
and far-fetched hypothesis. The 
Timseus, 34 A sq., 36 B sqq., 38 k 
sq., 40 A, always epcaks ot two 
motions only of the whole heaven 
and the planets, and the Phrcclo, 
109 A, undoubtedly treats the 
earth as at rest. Buekh, Kosm. 
Syst. 63 sqq., proves that Tim. 40 
B does not contradict this view : 
el\\o/J.evr)v there means not re- 
volvin 01 but formed into a ball. 
In the Lawf, vii. 822, we have the 
same statement as Tim. 39 
Aristotle certainly says De Ccelo, 11. 
13 293, b. 30: ZVLOI be KO.I Kfinevip 
tiri ToO KevTpov <f>affiv o-vr^v (the 
earth i XXeatfat KO.L KivelaOan irepi 



around the axis of the universe, in the direction of the 
equator, from east to west; and the circles compre 
hended in it are likewise carried round with the same 
motion. They themselves, however, move in various 
periods of revolution (increasing according to their 
distance) around the earth, in the plane of the Ecliptic, 
from west to east. Their courses are therefore, pro 
perly speaking, not circles, but spirals ; and as those 
which have the shortest periods move the quickest in 
a direction opposed to the motion of the whole, it 
appears as if they remained the furthest behind this 
lotion. The swiftest look like the slowest: those 

eV rep Ti/j,ali{) yeypairrai, and Kipetcr- 
#cu s as Prantl shows in his edition, 
p. 31 1> cannot be removed from 
the text (with two MSS. and Bek- 
ker), because it recurs c. 14 begin, 
unanimously attested. There arc 
many things against Bockh s view 
(loc. cit. 70 sqq.) that the mention 
of the Timieus (Oxrirep .... 767/0.) 
refers only to the (AXe<r0cu (or 
), and not to the additional 
, and that Aristotle here 
meant to attribute the assertion 
that the earth moves round the 
axis of the universe not to Plato 
himself, but to others unknown to 
us. It only does not follow from 
this that Plato supposed a revolu 
tion of the earth round an axis, 
whether daily or in a longer space 
of time. I cannot approve of the 
conjecture (Prantl, loc. cit. ; Nuse- 
mihl, Genet. Kntw. ii.ljso sq.) that 
Plato ascribed to the earth at lease 
a vibrating motion towards the 
axis of the universe, and that this 
is what the Kivtiatiai of Aristotle 
refers to. Aristotle, as is clearly 
shown by c. 14, 2% a. 34 sq., 7, 

means a motion from west to east 
corresponding to the individual 
movement of the planets ; the 
Timrcus, on the contrary, says 
nothing about a motion of the 
earth. Since, then, this word 
cannot be removed from the 
passage of Aristotle, we can only 
acknowledge that in this case 
Aristotle misunderstood the Avords 
of the Timseus, perhaps led to do 
so by some Platonists who took 
the passage in that way. This 
was quite possible from the words, 
and Plato is even thus credited 
with far less extravagance than 
wejind in the Meteorology, ii. 2, 
355 b. 32 sqq. The passage of 
the Timasus, ap. Cic. Acad. ii. :j t i, 
123 (perhaps from Ileraclides : 
sec Part i. p. (387, 4, 2nd edit, 
refers to a daily revolution of the 
earth round its axis. Cf. Teich- 
miiller, Stud. z. CJcsch. d. Begrinv, 
J. is Kpq., whose explanation agrees 
in its results with the above, 
which was written before the ap 
pearance of his work. 


which overtake the others in the direction of west to 
east, appear in the contrary direction, to be overtaken 
by them. 40 

These motions of the heavenly bodies give rise to 
Time, which is nothing else than the duration of their 
periods. 41 A complete cosmical period, or perfect 
year, has elapsed, when all the planetary circles at the 
end of their revolution have arrived at the same point 
of the heaven of fixed stars, from which they set out. 42 
The duration of this cosmical year Plato fixes, not 
according to astronomical calculation, but by arbitrary 
conjecture, at ten thousand years : 43 and he seems to 

Tim. 30 B sqq., 39 B sqq. : 
of. Hep. x. 617 A sq. ; Laws, vii. 
822 A sq. ; also Epinom. 980 
E sq., and Buckl), Kosra. Syst. 10- 
50; Martin, ii. 42 sq., 80 sq. As 
regards the time of the planets re 
volution, Plato supposes it the 
same for the snn, Venus, and Mer 
cury (ihis is the order in which he 
5 tuts them, reckoning outwards), 
he motion of the heaven of the 
iixed stars is denoted as eirl 5etd, 
Tim. 30 C, of the planets as er 
dpuTTepa, plainly in order that the 
more complete motion may be as 
cribed to the more complete ob 
jects. In this Plato most have 
by an artifice contented himself 
with the ordinary usage which 
makes the east the right and the 
west the left side of the world. 
The motion from east to west is 
therefore towards the lelt, and 
cice versa. V. Bockh, p. 28 sqq. 
Laws, vi. 700 1) ; on another occa 
sion, Epin. 987 B, in an astrono 
mical reference, the east is treated 
as the right side. 

41 Tim. 37 D-38 < , 3D 15 sqq. 

Hence the tenet here that time 
was created with the world (see p. 
009). Ibid, on the distinction be 
tween endless time and eternity. 
Maguire s (PI. Id. 103, see chap, 
vii. 42) assertion, that Plato con 
sidered time as something merely 
subjective is entirely without 
K 39 D. 

43 This duration of the year of 
the world (pre-supposed l\ep. vii. 
540 B, as will be shown later on) 
is expressed more definitely in the 
statement (Phsedr. 248 C, E, 249 
B ; Rep. x. 015 AC, 021 D), that 
the souls which have not fallen 
remain free from the body through 
out one revolution of the universe, 
while the others enter into human 
life ten times, and after each period 
of life among men have to com 
plete a period of 1000 years 
(strictly speaking, the period would 
be 11,000 years, but the inaccu 
racy must be attributed to the 
myth). Hence the curious asser 
tion, Tim. 23 D sq., that the oldest 
historical recollection docs not 



connect with it, periodical changes in the condition of 
the world. 41 The particular heavenly bodies are so 
inserted in their orbits that they never change their 
place in them; the forward motion around the universal 
centre is not to be ascribed to these bodies as such, but 
to their circles. 45 Plato, however, gives to each of them 
a movement around its own axis, 46 but this assumption 

reach beyond 9000 years. Other 
calculations of the great years are 
not to be taken as Platonic (cf. 
Martin, ii. 80)- Plato is so evi 
dently giving a round numfcer with 
his nsual mixture of dogmatism 
and symbolism, that to connect his 
great year, as Steinhart does, vi. 
102, with observations on the ad 
vance of the equinoxes, is beside 
the question. <Jf. Susemihl, Phil. 
xv. 423 xq. ; Gen. Ent. ii. 300, 370. 

44 Polit. 2(19 C Fqq., where of 
course (cf. Tim. 30 K, and else 
where) Plato is not in earnest in 
supposing that (Jod from time to 
time withdraws from the govern 
ment of the world : Tim. 22 B sqq., 
23 I) : Laws, iii. (577 A sqq. 

This is clear from Tim. 30 B 
sqq., 38 C, 40 A sq. But it is not 
quite clear how we are to conceive 
this circle itself. The description 
mentioned p. 8f>8, depicts the circles 
of the planets as small bands bent 
into a circle, and the circle of the 
fixe 1 stars as a band of the same 
kind, only much broader; doubt 
less Plato imagined the latter (as 
it appears to the eye) as a sphere, 
uul the circles of the planets only 
is linear or like a band. 

* Tim. 4(i A: japcrets 5e Uo 

.VT< /card TO.VTO. irepi TUIV avTuv del 
a aiVa eai/rw diavoov/mevu, ryv 5 et s 
6 TrpoffBcv VTTO -n}? rai roG /ecu 

o/j.oiov trepicjiopas /cparoi /uVy. Plato 
says this of the fixed stars ; 
whether he intended that it should 
hold good of the planets is ques 
tionable. In favour of this view 
we might allege that the motion 
which Plato considers to be pecu 
liar to reason (cf. p. 358 sq.) 
must also belong to the planets : 
for they are rational beings or visi 
ble gods. And ace. to p. 40 B 
(where I cannot agree with Suse- 
mihl s explanation, Philol. xv. 420) 
they are fashioned according to the 
fixed stars (/car* tKeiva. yeyovev}. 
These reasons, however, are not 
decisive. The planets may be 
fashioned according to the fixed 
stars without at the same time re 
sembling them in all points : and 
Plato himself, loc. cit., distinctly 
indicates their difference, in that 
the one Kara ravra v ravr^i ffrpf- 
(pbjjitva. ad ^vi, while the others 
are Tpeir6/mfj>a. /ecu Tr\avr)v i&xovTa, 
which rather means that the latter 
are without motion ev Tairry. In 
the case of the fixed stars reason 
is connected with their reflex mo 
tion ; but even the earth, 40 C, 
is designated as a divinity, al 
though it has not that motion (as 
SuFcmihl rightly remarks, loc. cit.) ; 
and this also holds good of the 
central fire of the Pythagoreans 
and the Ecm a of the Pluedrus 
(247 A). As only two and not 


is manifestly the result, not of astronomical observation, 
but of speculative theory. 47 The stars must revolve 
around themselves, because this is the motion of rea 
son, 48 and they must partake in reason. Far from 
seeino-, like Anaxagoras and Democritus, only dead 
masses in the heavenly bodies, Plato regards them as 
livino- beings, whose souls must be higher and diviner 
than human souls, in proportion as their bodies are 
brighter and fairer than ours. 19 In this he is evidently 
influenced by the even and regular motion, in which 
the stars as nearly as possible follow pure mathematical 
laws. 50 If the soul is, generally, the moving principle, 
the most perfect soul must be where there is 

three motions are mentioned in 
the case of the planets (38 C sqq.) 

in- to the gods. The Demi- 
urgua formed this for the most 
I u^nk (wiS Steinhart, vi. 109 ; part out of tire, so that it might be 

fcr 1 ; felL^sS ^r^^.tt 

J^i^aUriblted , the planets round jo rm of t^vers^and 

the motion on their own axes 
which Martin, Etudes, ii. 83, and 
Jiiickh. Ivosni. Syst. 50, with Pro- 
da 3 , ascribe to them. The planets 
do not, like the fixed stars, belong 
to the Ki /cXos ravrov, but to the 
M>/v\os Oarepov (see p. 358). 

47 There is no phenomenon 
which they serve to explain, nor 
any law known to Plato from 
which they could be derived ; and 
the coruscation of the fixed stars, 
which Suscmihl mentions loc. cit. 
could at the most have been con 
sidered merely as a confirmation 

motions discussed above : 
# ys 817 T7?s air/as ytyovtv ^off 
airXafij TUV farpuv faa 0a WTO, 
/ecu dtSia /cat Kara TO.VTO. ev raury 
ffTp^o^va. del yueVa TO. 8t Tperro- 
u.eva . . . KO.T Kiva yeyovev. C t. 
Laws, x, 88G D, 898 J) sqq., xn. 
9G<5 D sqq. ; Crat. 397 U. 

50 As Plato says, Rep. vn. o3| 
A, even the stars cannot correspond 
to mathematical rules quite per 
fectly, and without any deviation, 
because after all they are visible, 
and have a bodv. He thus seems 
to have noticed that the phe 

MI mil merely as a cuimmmiiim i v - , 

Ut ,,ot as th. pn,p., gvouud ,,f ""-- ^ "I tv 1 l "t 


the theory. 

4S See p. 359 e<|. and note 
words irepi r. avT. . 

J0 Tim. 3H E, 39 E sqq. : there 
are four kinds of vital existences ; 
the first is the heavenly, belong- 


with his astronomical system; but 
instead of giving an astrommncal 
solution of the difficulty which 
was indeed impossible to him), lie 
cuts the knot by a more theory 


most perfect motion; and if the motive power in the 
Soul is accompanied by the faculty of knowledge, the 
highest knowledge must belong to that soul which by a 
perfectly regular motion of body evinces the highest 
reason. 51 If the Cosmos, absolutely uniform and har 
monious, circling about itself, possesses the most divine 
and most reasonable soul, those parts of the Cosmos 
which most nearly approximate to it in form and 
motion will most largely participate in this privilege. 
The stars are therefore the noblest and most intefli- 
gent of all created natures; they are the created 
gods, 52 as the universe is the one created God. Man 
may learn how to regulate the lawless movements of 
his soul by their unchanging courses: 53 he himself 
is not to be compared with them in worth and perfec 
tion. So strongly was the Greek deification of nature 
at work, even in the philosopher who did more than 
anyone else to turn away the thought of his nation from 
the many-coloured multiplicity of the phenomenon to a 
colourless conceptual world beyond. As to the person 
ality of these gods, and whether thought combined 
with self-consciousness belongs to them, in the same 
way as to man, Plato seems never to have enquired. 54 

t4 sq Hence in Laws, simply says that souls those cf the 

x 808, D sqq (on the basis of stars -are ir&vrw TOVTW atnai ) 

the psychology developed loc. cit.), & f0 l 6parol Ka l yewyrol Tim 

it is shown that the stars are gods. 40 D; cf. 41 A sqq., and sm>n, 

(Ihere is nothing in the passage no e 40. 

about the animation of the years, Tim. 47 B sq 

months, and seasons, such as 5i Teiciimiillpr fV 

IViehmuller, Stud. z. Gesch. 
Begr. oG J, finds in 800 

wind! he would wake out that gods are merely metapho ica 
the animation of the stars is not meaning that the Ideas of tV l 
to be taken literally; the passage iust as the Moas of mortal 

C C 


The Timams 55 sums up the result of its whole 
cosmogony in the concept of the world as the perfect 
Made like the Idea of the Living One (the av- 

ler himself has correctly enun 
ciated the reasons which, according 
to the above, induced Plato, as 
they did Aristotle and other philo 
sophers afterwards, to suppose 
that the stars are animated by an 
intellect far higher than that of 
men. Where the tenets, which a 
philosopher expresses with all defi- 
niteness, so clearly proceed from 
presuppositions acknowledged by 
him, we cannot doubt that they 
correspond to his actual opinions. 
Plato certainly does not in the 
least endeavour to form for us a 
more precise conception of the ani 
mation of the stars. He does not 
tell us whether he attributes to 
them a self-consciousness, sensi 
bility, or will, whether, in short, he 
imagines their life to be personal 
or not. But has he made any 
such scientific statement with re 
ference to the World-soul or the 
Divinity ? Has he accurately ana- 
lysed human self-consciousness? 
Whenever the doctrines of an an 
cient philosopher give us occa 
sion to ask questions, to which we 
find no answers in that philoso- 
pher s works, our first enquiry 
should always be whether he ever 
proposed these questions to him 
self; and in the present case _ we 
are not justified in assuming this. 

55 30 C sqq., 36 E, 37 C, 39 E, 
34 A sq., 68 E, 92 end. Cf. begin 
ning of the Critias. This exposi 
tion might, to a great extent, 
have been borrowed from Philo- 

are contained in the Idea of the 
animal. He can of course appeal 
to the difficulty which results as 
soon as ever we endeavour _ to 
determine precisely the conception 
of the spiritual individuality of 
the stars, as well as to the ob 
viously mythical elements which 
run through the narrative of their 
creation (39 E sq., 42 A sq.). 
But similar difficulties arise in 
very many doctrinal determinations 
without giving us any right to re 
ject them as uu-Platonic ; as e.g. 
in the doctrine of the World-soul, 
and of the three parts of the 
human soul, &c. If the nar 
rative of the origin of the stars 
bears the same mythical character 
as the whole cosmogony of the 
Timseus, it does not follow that 
Plato is not in earnest in what he 
says about its intelligence and di 
vinity, not only here but also in 
the Laws. He speaks of the for 
mation of the world in an equally 
mythical way, but he does not 
therefore doubt that the world is 
the most perfect revelation of the 
Idea, the become God. He tells 
us myth after myth about the ori 
gin and destiny of the human soul ; 
but who can dispute that the soul 
is to him the divine in man, the 
teat of the intellect? Plato dis 
tinctly gives us to understand that 
the case is essentially different 
with the divinity of the stars, and 
with the divinity of the purely 
mythical gods Chromes, Rhea, &c. 

, , . 

the well-known passage of Tim. laus, if we could depend upon the 

40 E sq., he refuses with withering genuineness of the fragments in 

irony to express his views about Stob. Eel. i. 420, the beginning 

these, as he has just done in the of which has < many points of sinn- 

case of the former ; and Teichmiil- larky with Tim, 32 C sqq., 37 A, 


roZ&ov) so far as the created can be like the Eternal 

comprehending in its body the totality of the corporea 

Pupating, % means of itg m]> J, J?2j 

end-ess hfe and in divine reason, never growing old nor 

pas S1 ng away- the Cosmos is the best of things cr ated 

the perfect copy of the everlasting and invisible S 

itself a blessed God, sole in its kind, sufficing to itself 

and in need of no other. In this description we cT 

not fa,l to recognise the characteristic of the ancie t 

v,ew of the world. Even Plato is f ar too dee, 1 

rrated with the glory of Nature to despise h r asThe 

^nanTlf 6 W t0 rMk her " the 4-itual, bell 
human self-consciousness. As the heavenly bodies are 
-sible go s, so the universe is to him the one Sib I 
U>d winch comprehends in itself all other crea d 
gods an by reason of the perfection and intelligent 


Pa t eUS Z o 

Plato ,t I8 above all things necessary to this perfection 
>fthe Cosmos, that as the Idea of the Living include 
< i self all living beings, so the world, as its co - 
Jhould also include them.- They fall, however ^ 
two classes : the mortal and the immortal. Of the 1 
je have already spoken and shall have again to s p t ! 

w So? Z P,; aCC r f the ***** C on in 
ch he Platonic theory places all other living crei 
tures with man, will lead us at once to Anthropokgy 

38 g O. Cf, however, voi. i. 317, 4; , or C01 1 deslro t ,, 

can pass away. But only their crea end. * E) 41 B G9 C 9 - 

c c 2 




PLATO has discussed the nature of the soul and of man 
both mythically and scientifically. In more or less 
mythical language, he speaks of the origin and pro- 
existence of souls, of their condition after death, and of 
Recollection (avajuvijuic). His enquiries into the di 
visions of the soul, and the interdependence of spiritual 
and corporeal life, are conducted in a more exclusively 
scientific manner. Our attention must first be directed 
to the mythical and half-mythical representations ; for 
even the more strictly scientific utterances often re 
ceive their fullest elucidation from these. Rut we must 
previously glance at the general concept of the Soul, 
as determined by Plato. 

We are told in the Thnanis (41 sqq.) that when 
the Creator had formed the Universe as a whole and the 
godlike natures in it (the stars), He commanded the 
created gods to produce mortal beings. They there 
fore fashioned the human body and the mortal part of 
the soul. He Himself prepared its immortal part in 
the same cup in which He had before fashioned the 
World-soul. The materials and the mixture were the 
same, only in less purity. This means, if we abstract 



the form of the representation, that the essence of the 
human soul, conceived apart from its union with the 
body, is the same as that of the World-soul, except for 
the difference of the derived from the original, the 
part from the whole. 1 If then the World-soul is, with 
regard to Being in general, the mediatising principle 
between the Idea and the Phenomenon, the first form 
of existence of the Idea in multiplicity, this must also 
hold good of the human soul. Though not itself the 
Idea, 2 it is so closely combined with the Idea that it 
cannot be conceived without it. Reason cannot impart 
itself to any nature except through the instrumentality 
of the soul; 3 conversely, it is so entirely essential 
in the soul to participate in the Idea of life, that 
death can never enter it. 4 Hence the soul is expressly 
defined as the self-moved. 5 But this it can only be 
so far as its essence is specifically different fronTthat 
of the body, and akin to that of the Idea ; for life 
mill motion originally belong to the Idea, and all life. 
t-veii of derived existence, comes from it." The Idea. 
in contradistinction to the plurality of Sensible things! 
is absolutely uniform and self-identical, and, in contra- 
distinction to their transitoriness, is absolutely eternal. 
The soul, in its true nature, is without end or begin- 

1>1 i il , ob -, : A: Tb 
-a. ap ou 


, f nrep 
vTos <rfyta 
TO.VTO. ye 

Ka\\lova. f(T. supra, p. 
11-J The hnman soul as 

according to the harmonic sysiem 
(Tim. 43 ( f q., 4>> ( . 
fce onderrtooSh .be 

T 6 ye plained previously fn 


3f>8 sq.). 

- See p. L>;!<I. ;:; 

3 See p. 172 287 

4 Plirodo, lof, ( lOCD-cf 

Jrell as the world-soul is said to I) sqq. 

have the two circles df the TO.VTOV r> See p. 345 

and da.Tfpov in itself, and is divided " S e c p. 261 S(j(J 


ning free from all multiplicity, inequality, and com- 
positeness. 7 More precise explanations than these, in 
regard to the universal concept of the soul, we vainly 
seek in Plato. 

This high position, however, only belongs to the 
soul, as contemplated in its pure essential nature 
without reference to the disturbing influence of the 
body. The souFs present condition is so little adapted 
to that essential nature, that Plato can only account 
for it by a departure of the souls from their original 
state; and he finds no consolation for its imperfec 
tion, except in a prospective return to that state. 

The Creator of the world (so the Timeeus continues, j 
41 D sqq.) formed in the beginning as many souls as 
there were stars, 8 and placed each soul in a star, 9 

7 ]?i-p. x. 611 B sq. ; Phaedo, 78 B 
sqq., the results of which investi 
gation are (x. 80 B) comprehended 
in the words : T$ /J-ev delu /ecu adav- 
ciry KU.I vorjTi^ KCU /iovoetSe? /ecu 
d8ia\i)r<> /cat del ujcrai rws /ecu Kara 
rain a. 2x ovTi a ^ T V O/XOIOT O.TOV elvai 
^VX-TIV. O . Laws, 899 D : on 
fj.ti> r/7et deovs ffuyyeveLO. TLS iVwj 
re Oda 717)6$ TO vfJ.<pvTov ayti. 

8 Susemihl, Genet. Entw. ii. 396, 
understands by this that the crea 
tor of the world divided the whole 
collective soul-substance into as 
many parts as there are fixed 
stars, appointed one of these parts 
to each of the latter, and^ caused 
the individual souls, in their trans 
plantation to the earth and the 
planets, to proceed from these 
parts. As far as Plato s scientific 
views nre concerned, the meaning 
of srch an entirely mythical point 
vould be indifferent. As the 
question, however, has actually 

been raised, I cannot concur with 
the view. just quoted. The creator 
forms i/ i/X^ 5 ivapiO/jiovs TO IS 
darpOLS, displays the universe to 
them, and proclaims the law of 
their future existence. _ In my 
opinion, none but the individual 
souls can be meant. The number 
need cause no difficulty ; that of the 
souls is meant to be limited (sec 
below), that of the stars, on the 
other hand, is always considered 
incalculable. The fact that, accord 
ing to this view, every (fixed) 
star would have only one reason 
able inhabitant, is of no ^ import 
ance whatever. The question here 
is not about the inhabitants of the 
fixed stars; the souls are merely 
divided amongot the stars for a 
time, in order that they may con 
template the world from them (as 
in PLwdr. 246 E sqq., only in a 
different way). 

9 In this case, however, we cm 



ordaining that they should thence contemplate the 
universe, and afterwards be implanted in bodies. At 
first, all were to come into the world alike, as men. 
Whoever should overcome the senses in this bodily 
existence should again return to a blessed existence in 
his star. Whoever did not accomplish this, should 
assume at the second birth the form of a woman ; but, 
in case of continued wickedness, he should sink down 
among beasts, 10 and not be released from this wandering 
until, by conquest over his lower nature, his soul had 
regained its original perfection. In accordance with 
this decree, the souls were distributed, some on the 
earth, some on the planets, 11 and the created gods 
fashioned for them bodies, and the mortal parts of the 

This_exposition differs from the much earlier one of 
the Phaedrus (216 sqq.) as follows. The entrance of 
souls into bodies, which the Timseus primarily derives 
from a universal cosmic law, is in the Phasdrus ulti* 
mately reduced to a decline of the souls from their 
destiny. Hence the mortal part, which the Tima3us 
only allows to approach the immortal soul when it 

only think of the fixed stars, be 
cause this transposition of each 
Boul to its definite star is clearly 
distinguished from its subsequent 
transplantation to the planets, 41 
E, 42 1) (overlooked by Martin, 
ii. 151). 

10 There is a further develop 
ment of this point, Tim. 90 E sqq. 

11 This point, standing quite se 
parately in Plato ,and thoroughly 
misunderstood by Martin, loc. cit.), 
cannot be taken otherwise than as 

asserting that the planets have in 
habitants just as the earth has ; 
for the expression 42 I) prevents 
our supposing that the human 
souls come to the planets first and 
then to the earth. Anaxagoras, 
and IMiilnlaus before Plato, had 
supposed the moon to be inhabited 
(see vol. i. 820, 366) ; Plato seems 
to follow them. To understand 
Hep. ix. o ( ,)2 1J as referring to in 
habitants of another world is very 



enters the body, is, with regard to both its components, 
Courage and Desire, 12 already attributed to the soul in 
the pre-existent state : there would otherwise be nothing 
to mislead souls to their fall. 13 In other respects, the 
fundamental ideas of both dialogues are the same. If 
a soul, overcoming Desire, follows the choir of the gods 

12 The whole description proves 
that these two qualities are to be 
understood by the two horses of 
the soul, Phsedr. 246 A; cf. also 
247 E, 253 D sqq., 255 E sq. 
All that is brought against this 
view from the Timseus (Hermann, 
De part. an. immort. sec. Plat. 
Gott. 1850-1, p. 10, following 
Hermias in Phsedr. p. 126) would 
prove nothing at all, even sup 
posing that it was not a mythi 
cal exposition. Why might not 
Plato have altered his views? 
To explain the horses of the soul 
as equivalent to the elements of 
the soul mentioned in the TimaMis, 
as Hermann does, after Hermias, 
is more than improbable. These 
parts of the soul will be discussed 
later on. 

r3 I cannot concur with Suse- 
mihl s supposition (Genet. Entvv. 
i. 232, ii. 398 ; Philol. xv. 417 
sqq.) that Plato imagines the souls 
to be clothed with a sidereal body 
previous to the earthly life. In 
the Timneus 41 C. sq., 42 E, 
only the souls, and these only in 
their immortal paii, are fashioned 
by the Deraiurgus ; these souls are 
transported into the fixed stars, 
and only afterwards do they ob 
tain a body not perhaps earthly, 
but simply a body and with tliis 
the sensible powers of the soul 
(42 A : oVore 877 au/j.a<ni tfj.<pvTev- 

ava.yKa.1ov e if] /j.iav Tracnv 
e/c /Stcuwi/ Tra.dri[j,a.TUv ^v^vrov 
yiyveo-dai, &c.) begin. Of a super- 
terrestrial body Plato not only 
says nothing (as he must necessa 
rily have done if he supposed it to 
exist), but positively excludes the 
notion by the whole character of 
his exposition. This body must 
have been created by the inferior 
gods ; and their activity only 
commences with the creation of 
the earthly body ; aia-O^ais too 
would have been inseparable from 
it ; and cuffdrja-is only originates 
with the earthly body. Nor is 
there anything in the Pluedrns, 
245 C sqq., about a sidereal body : 
it is the souls themselves which 
throng and push and lose their pin- , 
mage, c. We might of course 
say that incorporeal souls could 
not live in the stars ; but just as 
little could they wander about the 
heavens and raise their heads intc 
the sphere above the heavens, ac 
cording to the fable of the Phaj- 
drus. We cannot expect that such 
mythical traits should, be tho 
roughly consistent with one ano 
ther and in harmony with the se 
rious determinations of the Pla 
tonic doctrine. We are not justi 
fied in attributing determinate 
theories to Plato simplv because 
they are require.! in a purely my 
thical exposition. 


up to the super-celestial place to behold pure entities, 
it remains for a period of 10,000 years, one revolution 
of the universe, free from the body : but those souls 
which neglect to do this, and forget their highest 
nature, sink down to the earth. At their first birth, 
all, as stated in the Phaedrus, are implanted in 
human, and male, bodies; only their lots vary accord 
ing to their merit. After death, all are judged, and 
placed for a thousand years, some as a punishment 
under the earth, some as a reward in heaven. This 
period having elapsed, they have again to choose, the 
evil as well as the good, a new kind of life; and in 
this choice, human souls pass into beasts, or from 
beasts back into human bodies. Those alone who thrice 
in succession have spent their lives in the pursuit of 
wisdom, are allowed to return, after the three thousand 
years, to the super-celestial abode. The latter part of 
this representation is confirmed by the llepublic. 14 The 
souls after death are there said "to come into a place 
where they are judged : the just are led away thence to 
the right, into heaven; the unjust to the left, beneath 
the earth. Both, as a tenfold reward of their deeds, 
lave to accomplish a journey of a thousand years, which 
for the one is full of sorrow, for the other of blessed 
isions. 15 \\ the end of his thousand years, each soul 
has again to select an earthly lot, either human or 
animal, and only thr very greatest sinners are cast for 

* x. .I.! K s (I q. In vi. -4<>,S 1) caused so much trouble to ( 1m,- 
faturc return to hfe was already tian dogmatism, viz. the fate of 

w i-r r ti , children who die y m s- 

f , 1( ? ( l ueshon ls ref uses to enter into it. 

forward, which afterwards 


ever into Tartarus. 16 The Politicus 17 also recognises 
a periodical entrance of souls into bodies. 

The Gorgias (523 sqq.) gives a detailed account of 
the future judgment, again with the qualification that 
incorrigible sinners are to be everlastingly punished: 
and the Phsedo (109 sqq.), with much cosmological 
imagery, describes the state after death in the sarne^ 
way. Here four lots are distinguished (113 D sqq.): 
that of ordinary goodness, of incurable wickedness, 
of curable wickedness, and of extraordinary holiness. ; 
People of the first class find themselves in a condition 
which, though happy, is still subject to purification ; 
those of the second are eternally punished ; those of | 
the third temporarily. 18 Those who are remarkable 
for goodness attain to perfect bliss, the highest grade 
of which entire freedom from the body is the por 
tion of the true philosopher alone. 19 This passage is 
to be taken in connection with the former one, Phaedo 
(80 sqq.), which makes the return of the greater 
number of souls into corporeal life (as men or animals) 
a necessary consequence of their attachment to the 
things of sense. But the Gorgias not only represents 
much more strongly than the Phsedo the distinction of 

16 The peculiar touch here added here (114 A) a belief in the effi- 
that at such persons the abyss cacy of intercession for the de- 
of the world beneath roared is parted. The idea is rather that 
a remodelling of a Pythagorean the offender is punished until 1 
notion ; cf. vol. i. 389, 3. lias expiated his offence, and pro- 

17 272 E; cf. 271 B sq., the de- pitiated the injured person ; there 
velopment of details is here of is nothing about intercession, 
course different, but the general 19 A similar dirision p, a fojj 
doctrine the same as elsewhere. fold state of recompense is reiem 

18 Brandis, Gr.-rUm. Phil. ii. a. to in the passage from the 
448, is mistaken in trying to find x. 904 B sqq. quoted p. 409. 


ordinary from philosophical virtue, and its importance 
in determining future conditions, but contains a some 
what different eschatology. According to the other 
descriptions, the departed spirits appear immediately 
after death before the bar of judgment, and only 
resume a body at the end of a thousand years. Here, 
the souls that hanker after sensible things are said to 
hover as shadows around the graves, until their desire 
draws them again into new bodies. 20 

Plato employs the same method in the dpetrine of 
Recollection, to explain the phenomena of/the present 
life. The possibility of learning, he says, 21 would be 
incomprehensible, the sophistic objection that one can 
not learn that which is known, nor seek that which is 
unknown," would be unanswerable, if the unknown 
were not in some other relation to the known ; some 
thing namely that man has once known and then again 
forgotten. Experience shows this to be actually the 
case. How could mathematical and other truths be 
extracted merely by questions from a person to whom 
they had hitherto been entirely strange, if they were not 
previously latent in him ? How could sensible things 
remind us of universal concepts if the latter were not 
known to us independently of the former ? They can 
not be abstracted from the things themselves, for no 
particular represents its essence exactly and completely. 
But if these concepts and cognitions are given us 

20 108 A docs not really balance I) sqq. : Plia do. 7 - Ksqq.: cf. Tim. 

this variation, in spite of the re- 41 E. 
ference to the former passage. -"- See vol. i. 1M2 ; I ranll. (Jesch. 

- I hredr. 2-41 15. s<[.; Mono, 80 d. Log. i. . : ,. 


before any presentation has been appropriated, we can 
not have acquired them in this life, but must have 
brought them with us from a previous life. 23 The facts 
of learning, and of conceptual knowledge are only to be 
explained by the pre-existence of the soul. This doctrine 
alone makes Thought, distinguishing characteristic of 
human nature, 24 comprehensible to us. 

That the above descriptions as they stand were 
regarded by Plato not as dogmatic teaching but as 
myths, it scarcely required his express assertions 25 to 
prove: this is unmistakably shown by the contradic 
tions not only between one dialogue and another, but 
often in the, very same ; the careless prodigality with 
which historical and physical wonders are heaped to 
gether ; the occasional intermingling of irony ; 2G and 
the precise detailing of particularities that are beyond 
all human ken. But he no less clearly asserts that these 
myths were viewed by him not as mere myths, but 
also as hints of the truth, worth serious consideration ; 2 

23 The expression which Aris- Se ionv dvd^r}<ns cKelvw, & iror 
totle, De an. iii. 4, 429 a. 27, quotes. elSev wG>v 77 tan* ** 
thniHi wiihout Plato s name, and Phsedo, 114 1 ; Rep. x. I 

LlltJUKU Y*iaWM ^.y 

which Philop. De an. ii. f> a., B ; MUML 86 B. 

though only 1 conjecturally, refers * Of. Pluedo, 82 A ; Inn. 91 D ; 

to Plato, seems to imply this ongi- Rep. x. 62 - .,. , , 

mil possession of the Ideas: e5 5r? * (Jeorg. 523 A ; Ph*do, loc. 

ol \Hyorre9 rip iHtV elwu r6> cif. : rb & o.Vraura 5u^ P^6 

dSQv Perhaps, however, he has oiVws *x". ** *!<* I i 

in mind the more general view, on irptvci vow ^Xovri AvSpl. 99 

which cf. p. 287, 172. /^T 3 iV ecriv ^ TOWUT * 

. . , . 
- >4 I lisedr loc. cit. ; only a human -rrepl raj $\>\fa W^ ^ at Tas of;<rf, 

. . 

s ml can come into a human body, tird rep adavarbv 76 TJ 

because it alone has heard truth : rat oiVa, ravra /cat vptveiv 

teyap dvOpuirov iWnu /car elSos Soicci K al 

\f.y&/j.evov e /c TroXXwv ibv aiadrjGtuv OI TWJ 

JTr. 397 

and he therefore combines with them moral exhorta 
tions which he never would have grounded on uncer 
tain fables. 28 It is difficult, however, to make out 
precisely where that which is intended to be dogmatic 
ends, and that which is mythical begins. Plato himself 
was manifestly in uncertainty, and for that very reason 
betakes himself to the myth. The doctrine of immor 
tality is the point, the strictly dogmatic signification of 
which can least be doubted. Not only in the Phgedo, 
but in the Phaedrus and Republic, too, it is the subject 
of a complete philosophic demonstration. But this 
demonstration is directly founded on the concept of the 
soul, as determined by the whole inter-connection of 
the Platonic system. The soul in its Idea is that 
to the essence of which life belongs : at no moment, 
therefore, can it be conceived as not living. This onto- 
Iqgical proof of immortality sums up all the separate 
proofs in the Pha?do, 29 and is brought forward in 

lot-. .dt. ; Georg. 52(5 pine cndeavour-a postulate of 

D527B sq.; Rep. x. 618B sq., the philosophic consciousness 

that all philosophising is a loo sine: 

Ihe details m the Phndo of the soul from the body a kind 

about immortality appear to form of death ; and consequently that 

i series of distinct evidences and the soul arrives at its determina- 

considerations. If, however, we tion, the cognition of truth only 

look into them more closely, we after the separation from the 

see that they all depend on one body, i.e. only after death 

thought. The consciousness of (Whether this exposition be called 

lie Ideal Being of the human soul a proof or not is, I think of no 

(which is above growth and importance : the Platonic Socrates, 

fecay) is here exhibited in its ad- 63 B E, makes use of it as ajubtifi- 

vance to an ever clearer scientific cation of his belief in a happy life 

jrtamty, in its establishment with after death). Plato himself how. 

each new step on deeper and ever, 09 E sq , suggests that this 

Inner convictions. In the end kind of foundation is not sufficient 

e get (64 A-69 E) as a gene- hence in a second part (70 C-84 B) 

presupposition of philoso- he produces some other proofs 


the Phredrus, where it is shown that as the soul is 
ever in motion and is the first beginning of all motion, 
it must be indestructible as well as underived. 30 The 

from the nature of the _soul itself, 
to demonstrate that which he ex 
pounded merely as an immediate 
presupposition of philosophic life 
and endeavour. These proofs are 
all distinguished from the decisive 
and incontestable proof of the last 
part, by the fact that they do not 
proceed from the concept of the 
soul as such, but from individual 
analogies and facts, by which im 
mortality may be inferred with a 
high degree of probability, but not 
with the unquestionable certainty 
which Plato attributes to his chief 
argument. It is proved first of 
all (70 C-72 D) that as everything 
originates from its opposite, the 
living must originate from the 
dead, as the dead from the living ; 
the dead must therefore exist. It 
is then shown (72 E-77 A) that the 
generation of new notions, and the 
formation of general concepts, are 
to be understood merely as Kemi- 
niscence, and are to be explained 
from a previous possession of those 
notions, and an existence piior to 
the present. And (according to the 
doctrine of the origination of the 
living from the dead) this prior 
existence must find its correspond 
ence in an existence after death. 
Finally (78 B-81 A), from a com 
parison of the soul with the body, 
the result is obtained that the 
soul belongs to the class of simple 
and unchangeable things : and 
these are not liable to dissolution. 
Still even these proofs are found 
to be insufficient (85 D, 88 B sq.). 
A third division, distinct from the 
previous sections, introduces us to 

the proof which Plato considers 
complete and incontestable. This 
proof is brought in by refuting the 
notion that the soul is merely the 
harmony of its body (90 C-95 A\ 
After (95 A-102 A) showing that 
the starting-point lies in the doc 
trine of Ideas (upon which all the 
previous discussions ultimately 
hinge), Plato develops the final 
argument as above (102 A-107 B) : 
A concept can never pass into its 
opposite, nor can a thing which 
has a definite concept belonging _to 
its being admit the entrance of its 
opposite. But life belongs to the 
being of the soul, consequently ^it 
cannot admit the opposite of this, 
viz. death. Therefore it is immor 
tal and imperishable. 1 cannot 
here enter into details as to the 
different views which have been 
entertained on the composition of 
the Phsedo, and its arguments fcr 
the immortality of the soul. Cf., 
however, Schleiermncher, Plat. 
WW. ii. 3, 13 sq. ; Batir, Sokrak-s 
und Christus (Tub. Ztschr. 1837, 
3), 114 sq. ; Steinhart, Pi. WW. 
iv. 114 sq. (who, however, concedes 
too much to Hermann s mistaken 
assertion that the proofs of the 
Pluedo exhibit the development of 
Plato s convictions on this subject, 
Herra. Plat. 528 sq. See, on the 
other side, Rettig. ub PI. Phanlo, 
Bern, 1845, p. 27 sqq.) ; Bonitz. z. 
Erkl. platon. Dialogu., Hermes, 
v. 413 sqq. Further details apud 
Ueberweg, Gesch. d. Phil. i. 135 

OA (-* . > /~1 | \ ~ " 

>u Z-ii) L, : vvxil ira.aa. 

d6dva.TOv, &c. 



same argument is used in the Republic, 31 where it is 
said that the destruction of a thing is caused by its 
own inherent evil. But the evil of the soul, that is 
moral evil, does not weaken its faculty of life. If the 
soul could be destroyed at all, vice, says Plato, would 
have destroyed it ; as this is not the case, we see that 
an absolutely indestructible life is inherent in it. In 
a word, the nature of the soul guarantees that it cannot 
cease to live : it is the immediate cause of all life and 
motion; and though both may be borrowed by the 
soul from a higher, namely the Idea, yet it is 32 only 
by means of the soul that the Idea can impart itself 
to the Corporeal. 33 Therefore, in proportion as it is 

The soul is dpxy Kivrjcreus dpxy 8e 

irdv TO yiyvo/JLevov yiyvevdai, 
de fj.r)5 e fV6s et yap ZK TOV 
yiyvoiTO, OVK dv et; dpxrjs yiyvoiro. 
eTretSr? 5e aytvyrbv tort, Kal ddtd(p- 
Oopov avTo dvdyKTj elvai (cf. supra 
p. . ]44j .... ddavdrov e irecpa- 
TOV v$ eavTov Kivovfttvov, 
ovffiav Te Kal \6yov TOVTQV 
O.VTOV Tis \tyuv OVK atV^ivetrat. 
TTO.V ydp aw/jLa $ ^v ?udev TO Kt- 

i crewj 

et 5 eVn TOVTO 
&\\o TI dvai TO 
eavTo KLVOIV r) ^vx^, e dvdy- 
dyfv-rjT&v TC /ecu dddvaTov 

av . 

31 x. 608 D sqq. Cf. PhsBdo, 
92 I-] sq., and Steinhart, v. 2G2 s<i. 

32 See p. 288, 172. 

13 The Phaedrus designates the 
soul itself as the dpxrj Kiv^<reus, 
without saying that it is indebted 
only to participation in the Idea 
of life and the Ideal Cause for its 

motive power ( Phaedo, 105 C ; -Phi- 
Id). 30 B sq. ; see p. 266, 112), and 
that it therefore belongs to the 
conditioned and derivative, or, ;is 
the Timaeus puts it, that it was 
produced by God together with the 
rest of the world. This is of no 
importance to the present question, 
but still there is a difference : the 
exposition of the riuedru* is less 
precise and developed than that of 
the later dialogues. I cannot 
agree with Ueberweg (Unters. plat. 
Schr. 282 sqq.) that the Tima-us 
differs from the Phaula in its view 
of the Being of the soul. Tim. 
41 A, the creator of the world 
says to the created gods : 76 
o$v or) SfOev irdv \VTOV, TO ye /xr?c 
KctXws a.pfj.o<r6v Kal 2x ov e ^ Ai/et? 
t0\eiv KaKou 81 a Kal eirei-rep ye- 
yfrrjaOe, dddvaTOi /ue** OVK ^OT^ ovJ 
dXurot Tb Trd/uirav, OVTI /j.v Srj \u- 
6r](Tffde ye oi Se Tei/e<r0e davaTov 
fj.oipas, T^S /J.TJS POV\TI<T(JJS fj.eiovo> 
In 6e<rfJ.ou Kal KvptuTepov \axovTes 
v, ofs or eyiyevde 


necessary that the Idea in the universe should be mani 
fested in the phenomenon, the soul, as the medium of 

Hence Uebenveg concludes that 
as the soul according to the Ti- 
raaaus has also an origin and a 
composition, the principle TO 5eflb 
irav \vrbv must hold good of^it. 
The soul cannot, therefore, be im 
mortal by nature, but only by the 
will of God. A comparison of this 
exposition with thtit of the Phse- 
drus and the Phaedo shows, says 
Ueberweg, that the Timreus stands 
between these two and forms the 
transition from the one to the 
other. The Phredrus presupposes 
the perishableness of everything 
conditioned, and therefore explains 
the soul as something uncondi 
tioned, an apx*l, in order to vindi 
cate its immortality. The Phffido, on 
the other hand, considers the soul 
to be conditioned by the Idea of 
life, and accordingly gives up the 
perishableness of everything con 
ditioned ; it allows that such a 
thing may be imperishable, pro 
vided it stand in an essential rela 
tion to the Idea of life. The Ti- 
mseus agrees with the Phsedrus^as 
to the perishableness of everything 
conditioned, and with the Phrcdo 
in saying that the soul is a con 
ditioned thing. Hence it denies 
any natural Immortality to the 
soul ; and for this reason it may 
be considered earlier than the 
Phsedo. But in making this com 
bination Ueberweg ought to have 
paid some attention to the Re 
public, which he has left quite out 
of consideration. The Republic, 
which is prior to the Timseus, dis 
tinctly refers to the discussions of 
the Phsedo, 69 C-72 B, and 78 B- 
81 A (cf. especially Kep. 611 A 
with Phsedo, 72 A sq., 611 B with 
Phsedo, 78 B sq.), the substance of 

which is referred to here so briefly 
only because it was detailed else 
where. And in the words : 6Vt Tolvvv adavarov i) ^vwi xai 6 
&pTi \6yos Kai oi ctXXot avayKdveiav 
&i>, we are clearly referred to fur 
ther proofs known to the reader, 
which can only be those of the 
Phsedo. In the argument above 
mentioned, 608 D sqq., it is evidently 
assumed that the soul is imperish 
able by nature, this being the only 
reason why its ot/cet a irovrjpia is in 
capable of killing it. Again, it is 
incorrect to say that the principle 
TO 8edev irav \VTOV \s given up in 
the Phredo. It is stated just as 
definitely there as in the Timaeus 
(Ph. 78 B : r fj-ev vvTt6evTi re /ecu 

%Vl>deT(j) oWl (ptcrei. TrpO<r7]Kl TOVTO 

ird<rx Llf > SiaipeOrjvat ravrri yirep 
^vvveTeQ-t] el de TI rvyx&vei dv 

al>l>()eTOV, TOVTtj} ubvtp TTpOCnf]KL fJ.T) 

ir6.ff-x.eiv TO.VTO. d-rrep ru dXAy), and 
is repeated, Republic, 611 B. The 
Republic and Timreus, as well as 
the Phaulo, add that the soul is^iot 
a <ruv6eTov, but a simple Being, 
and they prove its immortality im 
mediately from this simplicity. 
The Phffido (80 B : if/vxi 5 ^ a j 5 r 
ira.po.irav dStaXury elvai T) eyyvs n 
TOVTOV] does not omit to intimate 
that the indissolubility of the soul 
is not so unconditioned and original 
as that of the Idea. Is this really 
different in the Timaeus? 6i>/x6? 
and e-mOvfJiia are first (42 A, 69 ( ) 
associated with the soul on its | 
entry into the body : but they do 
not belong to its original Being, 
which outlasts death. If we want 
to know this Being we must, as Re 
public 611 B sq. expressly remarks, 
leave them out of the question. 
Bv its transient connection with 


them it does not become anything 
composite. This would only be 
the case according to Phaedrus, 240 
A sq. Uebenveg believes that the 
1 naedrua agrees with the Tim-ens 
as^to the perishableness of every 
thing conditioned. But the Ti- 
imeus does not speak of the con 
ditioned any more than the Phredo 
or Kepublic : it speaks of the com 
posite. Is the soul to be considered 
as composite, and therefore dis 
soluble, in the Timneus, because, ac 
cording to a mythical exposition, it 
is formed out of its elements ? (see 
p. :)42 sq.) We nrght say in 
lavour of this view that the prin 
ciple TTO.V Ssdev XVTOV is adduced 
not merely, 41 A, with reference to 
t.ic composition of the stars out of 
the corporeal elements (40 A; cf. 
|2 K sq.), but also presupposed, 
43 I). One of the soul s circles is 
there said to be utterly confined by 
the throng of sensible perceptions 
jit the entry of the soul into the 
body. This is the circle of iden 
tity (Thought), the Tavrbv. The 
other circle (^Opinion) is so confused, 
wore ra^Tou dcwXaa-iou /cat rpnrXa- 
<riov rpeis e/carepas aTroordVets /cat 
ray rCiv yv.ioXlwi> /cat iir(.Tplruv 
Kal eiroybbuv fjieaoTTjTas /cat vvdt- 
<rcu (the harmonic proportions of 
the soul, see p. ;j49 sq.\ 
TrajTeAtDy XvTal OVK 7jffa.v TT, 
TOV t w 57?<raj/ryy, Trdaay /j.h UI ^^ U{ 
or/)o0dy, &c. But, as we have 
seen, the PlucJo itself suggests a 
similar restriction. If then we 
are to press the words as Uebenveg 
does, we must assert not only of 
the Timaeus but of the Plmlo 
that it does not assume a natural 
imperishability of the soul. And 
in the Timseus natural immortality 


this manifestation, is also necessary ; and as it is im 
possible that the universe and its motion can ever 

must be denied both to the human 
and to the World-soul. But this 
would be going beyond Plato s real 
meaning. The principle that every- 
thing composite is dissoluble is 
mih Plato a fuadamental meta 
physical principle which occurs 
equally in the Pluedo, the Republic, 
and the Tiraamt. The soul in spite 
ot this has no dissolution to fear; 
and this can be substantiated in 
two ways. We can either deny 
that the soul is composite, or we 
can say that, so far as in a 
certain sense the soul is compo 
site, it is in itself dissoluble, but 
this possibility for other reasons 
is never realised. We can derive 
its immortality either from a me 
taphysical pr a moral necessity. 
[I he former is the method pursued 
m the li-public and Phajdo; the 
latter is hinted at in the Timams, 
where the psychogony does not 
permit simplicity to be attributed 
to the soul in the same strict sense 
as in the other dialogues. Cf the 
Republic, Gil B: ou pdhov dttuM* 
iva.L ffvveerbv re CK TroAXa;* /cat ^ 
rrf Ka\\i(TTr] KCKXPWtvov avvdecrci, 
as is the case with the soul in its 
present condition, though not ac 
cording to its original Being. The 
possibility is suggested of the 
s nil s being indeed a vvvOf-Tov, but 
one so beautifully combined that 
it may last for ever. So far as 
there is any actual difference on 
this point between the Timanis and 
the Phaedo, it proves the Timrciis 
to be not the earlier, but the later 
work. The simplicity of the soul 
is modifiel in the Timaeus (and not 
before) by the doctrines of its com 
position out of its elements. The 
same holds good against Ueber- 
D D 


cease, so it is impossible that the soul should either 
have had a beginning or be subject to destruction. 34 
Plato cannot mean that this holds good only^of the 
World-soul, and not of individual souls. In his view 
these are not emanations of the AVorld-soul, coming 
forth from it for a certain time, and returning into it ; 
but as particular Ideas stand side by side with the 
highest Idea, so particular souls stand beside the 
universal soul in self-dependent individuality. Both 
are of like nature : both must be equally imperishable. 
The soul, as such, is the principle of motion, and is 
inseparably combined with the Idea of Life : therefore 
each particular soul must be so. This argument is not 
altogether valid. 35 It certainly follows from the pre 
mises that there must always be souls, but not that 
these souls must be for ever the same. 36 It is question- 

wcg s assertion (loc. cit. 292) that 

the Politicus also must be later 

than the Timrcus, because the 

higher part of the soul is called 

(309 C) TO atcycvcs 6v TTJS ^vxv 

fj.tpos. If any conclusion at all 

tan be drawn from these words it 

is that the Politicus is earlier than 

the Timseus. It is not till we 

come to the Timseus that we find 

any mention of the origin of the 

soul : iu all the preceding dialogues, 

Pluedius, Mono (86 A), Pbsedo and 

Republic (611 A, B), it is regarded 

as without beginning del oV. 

Considering the mythical character 

of the psychogony and cosmogony 

in the Timreus, I should be inclined 

to attach little importance to the 


u Phsedr. 245 D : rovro 8e [TO 
o.vrb KLVOVV] oiV a7r6XXv0"0cu 

o$re yiyvecrOai Swa-rov, i] TTO.VTO. re 

ovpavbv Traffdv TC yfreviv 

<rav ffTTJvat /cat ^TTOTC aSOis 

odev KivrjdevTa yevrjireTai. 

33 Phaedo, 107 B sq., 114 C ; 

Rep. x. 610 D, 613 E sq., 621 B ; 

Gorg. 522 E, 526 D sq. ; Theset. 

177 A; Laws, xii. 959 A sq. 
38 It does not follow that Plato 

considered his proofs invalid. 
Teichmuller tries to prove in his 
Studien zur Gesch. d. Begriffe, p. 
110-222, that Plato did not believe 
in an individual immortality, but 
considered the individual in the 
soul to be mortal, disappearing at 
death. (Teichmuller is, as far as 
I remember, the first to promul 
gate this theory.) His view not 
only wants foundation, but con 
tradicts every result of Plato s 
most unequivocal explanations. 


able whether Plato would have attained his firm con- 
: immortality had it not commended itself to 

Teichnnillei- thinks that if the in 
dividual soul is not an Idea, it 
cannot he imperishable, and con 
victs me of a clear contradiction 
> P J. .? ? havin S represented the 
individual souls with an indepen 
dent existence by the side of the 
\\ orld-soul, while (p. 554) I deny 
that the soul is an Idea. I have 
not, however, yet discovered where 
the contradiction lies. Are there 
according < Plato no individual 
-Beings by the side of the Ideas? 
or must they he perishable be 
cause they are not Ideas? Does 
1 lato expressly say (Phsedo, 
104 B, 105 D, 106 D sq.) that 
bendca the Ideas themselves all 
things with which an Idea is at 
any time connected exclude the op 
posite of that Idea? Hence, not 
only the Idea of life, but the soul 
which participates in that Idea ex 
cludes death. Teichmiillcr further 
remarks (p. HI) that, as the soul 
is a becoming or actually existin"- 
tlnng it must, like all else which 
actually exists, be a mixed thine 
composed of an Ideal and a prin" 
ciple of Becoming, of which one 
part (the individual) passes a way- 
while the eternal factor returns 
into its eternal nature. But he 
neither has brought, nor could 
bring proofs to show that Plato 
thought this to be the case with 
all actually existing thin-s. Arc 
not the world and World-soul, 
the stars and the alar-spirits ac 
tually existing things? Do they 
not belong to the category of Be 
coming just as much as, and in the 
same sense as, tho human soul? 
let we cannot infer that one part 
of their Being passes awny, while 

the other returns to its eternal 
nature. Even if it, were correct to 
jay that the individual is to be 
found neither in the Idea* nor in 
the principle of Becoming, but only 
in the actual mixture of the two 
(p. 114), it would not necessarily 
m Plato s view belong only to 
things which originate and pass 
away. There would remain the 
possibility that he supposed an 
enduring and indissoluble connec 
tion of the Idea with the principle 
01 Becoming as well as the tran 
sient connection. This is undoubt 
edly the case in the frequently 
quoted passage of the Phsedo, 103 
L sqq. We cannot, however, sav ab 
solutely that individuality accord 
ing to Plato arises from the mixture 
of the Ideas with the principle of 
Becoming ;_ at least, if we under 
stand by the latter term what he 
himself explicitly calls it, the TI- 
9 fa yevfoeus (Tim. 52 D) Matter 
for this is not in the soul. In 
dividual corporeal Beings do so 
originate, but how the spiritual in 
dividuality arises Plato gives us no 
explanation beyond the mythical 
partition of the soul-substance into 
the individual souls, Tim. 41 D ; and 
it is more than uncertain that he 
could account for it to himself 
How can the assertion be jus 
tified that the eternity of indi 
vidual souls most distinctly affirmed 
by llato miiat have been incon- 
ceivable from the nature of their 
origin ? We may see that Plato s 
evidences for the personal duration 
of the soul after death have no 
actual cogency; or (which, how 
ever, would be difficult to prove) 
that such a belief is not in harmony 

D D 2 


him 011 other grounds. We must remember the strong 
moral interest attaching to a belief in future retribu 
tion which is so prominent in his writings, 37 and the 
agreement of the doctrine of immortality with his 
high idea of the worth and destiny of the spirit; 38 
together with the support it gave to his theory of 
knowledge, by means of the principle of Recollection. 
As far as the scientific establishment of this doctrine 
is concerned, Plato comprehends everything in the single 
demand that we should recognise the essential nature of 
the soul, which excludes the possibility of its destruction. 
This argument shows the close interconnection 
between the doctrine of immortality and that of 
pre-existence. If it be impossible to imagine the 

with the general suppositions of his artifice will hardly serve to reconi- 

system. But our next question mend his explanation. In his ci- 

must simply be whether he held tation of proofs for immortality 

this belief himself or not; and to (p. 115 sqq.), he considers it^ ob- 

undertake to prove this expressly vious and a matter of course that 

to a reader of Plato by single pas- the question is not about any in- 

pages, 6.3. Phasdo, 63 E, 67 B sq., dividual immortality. Through- 

72 A, 80 B, 107 B sq. ; Rep. x. out he has omitted to substantiate 

Gil A where the constant num- these assertions ^ by any accurate 

ber of the souls is by no means to analysis of Plato s text. 
be set aside with Tcichmiiller as ;!7 Pluedo, 107 B sqq., 114 C 

a mere metaphor (Tim. 42 B) is Rep. x. 610 I), 613 E sqq., 621 B ; 

simply bringing owls to Athens. Gorg. 522 E, 526 D sqq.; Therct. 

AVitli this belief stands and falls the 177 A ; Laws, xii. 569 A sq. 
theory of future retribution and of x Cf. Phredo, 64 A sqq. ; Rep. x. 

which, as will be pre- 611 B sqq. ; Apol. 40 E sqq. He 


sently shown, Plato seriously who sees the true nature of the 

thought it impossible to renounce, spirit exclusively in its intellectual 

Teichmullcr endeavours (p. 143) to nature, and its true determination 

extract from the words (Phsedo, exclusively in the activity of the 

107 D), ovtih yap &\\o 2x ovffa et * intellect, and in sense merely a 

Atdou 4) ^v-)dn fyxercu TT\T]V TTJS hindering clog, can hardly ^ fail to 

7rcu5e/as re KOLL rpoQw, the follow- suppose that when ^ man is once 

ing sense : What do we take with free from sense, he will be free from 

us into Hades ? Answer : Our this clog. 
Such an obvious 


soul as not living this must equally hold good 
he future and of the past; its existence can as 
little _begm with this life as end with it. Strictly 
speaking, it can never have begun at all; for the soul 
being itself the source of all motion, from what could 
motion have proceeded ? Accordingly, Plato hardly 
ever mentions immortality without alludin- to pre 
existence and his expressions are as ex^icit and 
decided about the one as the other. I n his opinior 
they stand or fall together, and he uses them alike to 
explain the facts of our spiritual life. We therefore 
cannot doubt that he was thoroughly in earnest in his 
ssumption of a pre-existence. And that this pre 
existence had no beginning is so often asserted by 
that a mythical representation like that of the 
imams can hardly be allowed any weight to the con- 
We must nevertheless admit the possibility 

Rep. x. Gil A: the same souls 
must always exist : for that which 
is immortal cannot pass away 
but their number is not increased 
otherwise the mortal clement would 
in the end be consumed. Pha?do 
106 I), the soul is designated as 
aLdiw fa, Eep. loc. cit. as dd to 
which ot course refers to endless 
duration. These expressions show 
how to Plato s mind the absent of 
a beginning and the absence of an 
end coincide. 

10 It has been already shown 
P. :>W sqq., in what contradictions 
1 lato became involved by the sup 
position of a beginning of the 
world. In the present case there 
i the contradiction that the soul 
was fashioned in a determinate 
moment by the Demmrgos, whereas 

Jlns is explained most dis 
tinctly in the I luBdnis ; cf. supra 
notes 30 and 34. The Meno is 
less dc-finite, 86 A; O fo & v &v 

&p ofo rbv del xpovov 
fffrai 77 \fvxT] avTou ; STJ\OI> yap on 
rbv irdvTa X o6i>oj> tanv 7*, OVK HVTIV 
d^pwTroj. It might be objected 
that this refers only to the time 
since the soul existed at all. This, 
however, is clearly not Plato s 
meaning here, or he would have 
paid so. The same holds good of 
the explanation in the Phcedo, 70 
< I l D that every living thing 
springs from the dead, and rice 
versa, and that it must be so un 
less Jife is to cease altogether. So 
too in the corresponding passage, 


that in his later years he did not strictly abide l>y the 
consequences of his system, nor definitely propound to 
himself the question whether the soul had any historical 
beginning, or only sprang, to its essential nature, from 
some higher principle. 

If the two poles of this ideal circle, Pre-existence and 
Immortality, be once established, there is no evading the 
doctrine of Recollection which lies between them ; and 
the notions of Transmigration and of future rewards and 
punishments appear, the more we consider them, to be 
seriously meant. With regard to Recollection, Plato 
speaks in the above-cited passages so dogmatically and 
definitely, and the theory is so bound up with his whole 
system, that we must unconditionally reckon it among 
the doctrinal constituents of that system. The doctrine 
is an inference which could not well be escaped if once 
the pre-existence of the soul were admitted ; for an 
existence of infinite duration must have left in the 
soul some traces which, though temporarily obscured in 
our consciousness, could not be for ever obliterated. 
But it is also in Plato s opinion the only solution of a 
most important scientific question : the question as to the 
possibility of independent enquiry of thought trans 
cending the sensuous perception. Our thought could 
not get beyond the Immediate and the Actual ; we could 
not seek for what is as yet unknown to us ; nor recog 
nise in what we find, the thing that we sought for; if 
we had not unconsciously possessed it before we recog- 

the Demiurgus himself could not Tim. 34 13 sqq. ce.tainly^ looks as 

be imagined without soul. It can- if it were ^the primal origin ot the 

not be supposed that his soul is soul that is. meant, 
eternal and all the rest created ; 



nised and were conscious of it." 11 We could form no 
conception of Ideas, of the eternal essence of things 
which is hidden from our perception, if we had not 
attained to the intuition of these in a former exist 
ence. 42 The attempt of a modern work to exclude the 
theory of Recollection from the essential doctrines of 
the Platonic system/ 3 is therefore entirely opposed to 
the teaching of Plato. The arguments for the truth 
and necessity of this doctrine are not, indeed, from our 
point of view, difficult to refute ; but it is obvious that 
from Plato s they are seriously meant. 44 

As Recollection commended itself to him on scientific 
grounds, the belief in retribution after death was 
necessitated by his moral and religious view of the 
world. However firm his conviction that the uncondi- 

41 Meno, 80 D sqq. Sec p. 396, 
where the question : riva Tpbirov 
<f?7T?7crets TOVTO, 6 /XT? ot<5as Toirapa- 
irav on tern . . . T) el KOI on /xdXtcrra 
evrvxois avTty, TTWS euret 6 rt TOVT& 
fffnv 6 ffv OVK -rjdrjcda ; is answered 
by the doctrine of avd/uLvrjcw : rb 
yap fyrew apa Kal rb />6di>fii> 
avd/JLvrjai^ o\ov effriv. 

4 - Phaedo, 73 ( sqq., where 
special weight is attributed to the 
fact that things always remain I e- 
hind the Ideas of which they re 
mind us ; the Ideas, therefore, must 
have been known previously, be 
cause otherwise we could not com 
pare them with things and remark 
the deviations of things from them. 
Plato therefore pronounces the pre- 
oxistence of the soul to be the in 
dispensable condition of the know 
ledge and assumption of the Ideas : 
Phiedo, 76 D : ei tfv fan A 6p\ \- 
det, KuX6f re Kal ayaBbv Kal 

Traora TJ Toiavr-rj ouffia, Kal ewl Tavrrjv 
ra eK TUV aiff6-r](rfui> TTO.VTO. ava- 
<f>epoiJ.ev . . . Kal ravra (Keivy direi- 
Kdo/j.ev, dvayKaiov, ovrus iba-irc^ 
Kal ravra Zanv, OVTWS Kal TTJV 
rifierepav ^vxty f ^ a <- Kal irplv ye- 
yovtvaL T7/ias. (T. supra, note 24. 
4:>> Tfichmttller, loc. cit. 208 sq., 
whose refutat on of my view is here 
limited to the question : Is it 
meant that the souls saw the Ideaa, 
before hirth, with the eyes of sense? 
Xo one has ever attributed such an 
absurdity to Plato, nor has Plato 
anywhere spoken of a snnsil.le ap 
pearance of the Ideas in the pre 
vious life. In fact, he guards 
rgainst such an assumption even 
in his myths Pluedr. 247 ( ). 

44 The apparent deviation of the 
Meno fr >m the rest of the dialogues 
in its account of the doctrine ot]ff^ has been already notice:.!. 
Supra, p. 126, S2. 


tioual worth of morality could be shown without refer 
ence to a hereafter, he held that there would be a 
discord in the universal order, and that Divine justice 
would be at fault if, after death, good was not invaria 
bly rewarded and evil punished, whatever might have 
been the case in this world. 45 He, therefore, insists on 
the doctrine of future retribution not only in passages 
where some concession to popular notions might natu 
rally be expected for didactic or political reasons, 4 " 
but also in the strictest scientific enquiries, in a 
manner which clearly testifies to his personal belief in 
it; 47 and he rightly regards it as so necessary a 
consequence of immortality, that the one doctrine is 
involved in the other. 48 The precise kind and manner 
of retribution, however, he thought it impossible to 
determine ; and in reference to this, he was obliged to 
content himself either with consciously mythical repre 
sentations, or, as in the physics of the Timaeus, with 
probability. 49 

With regard to Transmigration, too, Plato is on the 

43 Pep. x. 612 A sqq. (cf. ii. Plato s opinion. TO p.h ovv ravja 

357 A-3G9 B) ; Laws, x. 903 Ma-xyplffaadai OUTOJS $x iv us e-yw 

B-905 C. oie\r)\v6a, he says at the end of the 

46 E.g . Laws, loc. cit.; (Jorg. eschatologic myth in the Pliiedo, 

r.QQ A Knn 114 D, Ot TTO^TTfL VOVV iVoiTt CLVOpi 

<>jtj /v bqq . ""i v ^ ~ i 

47 E.g. Pep. loc. cit. ; Phtedo, 03 on /J.{VTOI T) TO.VT earlv -1) TOIO.VT 
C\ 95 B sq., 114 L> ; Pliredr. 248 K. &TTO. irepl ras \f/vxas w&v Kal ra? 

48 Phfedo, 107 B sq., 114 D. ot/ojo-as, cTreiirep a9avaT6v ^ ye ^ 77 

49 As has been already shown. I/^XT? 0atVerai o5cra,Toi;ro /cat Trpeir- 
AVe cannot, however, say" that it eiv l^oi 5o/fet ATCU &^iov Kivovvevo-ai 
it is a contradiction to acknowledge oto/icVy oi rws Zx elv - ^ n " w "y 
the poetical play of imagination in should not a philosopher say : 
all the particulars of a theory, and I think it can be proved that a 
yet to consider it on the whole as future retribution will take place, 
an essential and doctrinal element although t admit the uncertainty 
of the system (Teichmiiller, loc. of all detailed determinations as to 
cit. 209). At any rate this is not the manner of its fulfilment? 



whole in earnest. He himself shows us how it is con 
nected with his whole system. As the living can only 
arise out of the dead, and the dead out of the living, 
souls must necessarily be at times without bodies, 
in order that they may return into new bodies. 50 
This vicissitude is, therefore, only a consequence of 
the circle in which all created things are constantly 
moving and vibrating between opposite poles. The 
notion of justice, too, requires such an alternation ; for 
if life apart from the body be higher than life in the 
body, it would be unjust that all souls should not alike 
be obliged to descend into the lower kind of existence, 
and that all should not be given a chance of ascending 
to the higher. 51 This argument seems, in Plato s 
opinion, to involve that the body and habitation al 
lotted to one rational soul shall not be less perfect 
than that of another, unless through the soul s own 
fault. - Yet, on the other hand, he considers it quite 
according to nature that each soul should be removed 
into a place corresponding with its internal constitution M 

50 Pluedo, 70 C sqq., 83 P: Rep. 
x. (Ill A: cf. note . 59. 

1 Tim. 41 E sq. The nc count 

defeat of ovil in the world might 
be assured. [jiefj.rjxa.i a.Ta.i 5rj irpbs 
TTO.V TOUTO TO TTOibv TL yevj/j.evoi> dtl 

of the Phtednu is, as wo have said, votav e8paj> Set (jLeraXaft fidvov ct /a- 
Rorae what different. Perhaps Plato i tadat /cat riWy Trore TOTTOV 
had not yet advanced to his later 8e ycvfocus rb [rev] troiov 
determinations, or it may have I est 
suited his exposition to treat the 
degradation of the souls as a matter 
of will. Cf. Deuscble, Plat. Mjthen, 
p. 21 sq., with whose remarks, how 
ever, I cannot entirely agree. 

raiy poc \"qa e<rii> 
ray atrt ay. owy yap at> em- 
Ov/j.rj Kai OTrotuy rty &v rr)i> i/ t X^ , 
ravrrf ffx^ov eKdarore /cat rotoPrcy 
yiyverat aTray T)(j.&v u;y TO iroXi . 
1 lvcrythii.g which possesses a soul 

- Tim.loc.cit.; cf.Phwdr. 248J). changes constantly, 
Laws, x. i*0o D, ( .H)4 Ji : (Jod KfKrrjiJLtva. TTJV TT}S< 


willed that everything should tal-e and according to the direction and 
smh a position in the universe degree of this change it moves this 
that the victory of virtue and the way or that, to the surface of the 


and seek out a body that suits if. 54 The notion 
of the soul adopting for its dwelling an. animal 
body, is not only very repugnant to ourselves, but 
even from the Platonic point of view is involved in 
so many difficulties, 55 and is treated by Plato with 
so much freedom, 56 that it is easy to see how ancient 
and modern commentators have come to regard it 
as a merely allegorical rendering of the thought 
that man when he loses himself in a life of sensua 
lity is degraded into a brute. 57 Had the question 
been definitely proposed to Plato, it is probable that 
he would not have claimed for this notion the dignity 
of a scientific doctrine. 58 Nevertheless, we are clearly 
not justified in explaining a trait which so persistently 

earth, into Hades, into a higher 
and purer or into the opposite 
place. Theaet, 177 A : the just are 
like the divine, the unjust like the 
non-divine; if the unjust do ^ not 
amend, Kal TeXevTrjaavras avrovs 
f/ceZvos pev o T&V KOLK&V Kadapbs 
TOTTOS ou Several, evQdoe 5c TUV 
CLVTOIS c/>tot6T7?Ta, rfjs diayayrjs del 
e^ovffi. Hanoi KCLKOIS <rvvbvTe<i. 

r > 4 Phttdo, 80 E sqq. (see p. 396): 
if a soul leaves the body pure, eis 
TO ftuotop avrrj TO detSes airepx^aL 
otherwise, are T ffu/j-an del ^vvovva 
Kal yeyoriTev^evt] UTT avrov, . . . 
fiapvveTai re Kal J:\KeTai ird\w ct s 
Tbv bparbv rbirov. Such touls wan 
der about the earth, ws av T$ TOV 
tweiraKoXovdovyTOS TOV <TU[J.aTOfi- 
5oGs eTri6vfjiia ird\iv evtied&aiv ets 


" The question is obvious, How 
can man, to whose nature the 
capability of forming concepts, ac 
cording to Phiedr. 249 B, essen 
tially belongs, become a beast? 

How can the dull and purely 
sensual life of the beast serve to 
purify the soul? Arc the souls of 
the beasts (ace. to Tim. 00 E sq.) 
all descended from former human 
souls, and so all intelligent and 
immortal according to their original 
Being, or (Phsedr. loc. cit.) only 
some of them ? 
r>(i (T. p. 397. 

57 E.g. among (Jrcek Platonisls, 
the Pseudo-Timaeus, Plutarch ap 
parently, Porphyry, lamblichus, 
and Hierocles (see vol. iii. b. 121, 
165, 590, 041, 084, 2nd edit.); 
among modern scholars, Stisemihl, 
Genet, Kntw. i. 243, ii. 392, 405 ; 
Philologus, xv. 430 sqq. 

58 We cannot quote Kcp. IV. 441 
B here. It is said there that beasts 
have no reason (\oyi< ; but 
the same was said immediately be 
fore of children. Plato might deny 
the use of reason to children, from 
his point of view, but not its pos 


recurs in all .Plato s eschatology, as the conscious 
allegorisation of a moral theorem not essentially 
belonging to the representation of the future life. 

Plato seems to have seen in this theory originally 

borrowed from the Pythagoreans one of those preg 
nant myths which he was convinced contained a 
fundamental truth, though he did not trust himself 
to determine (and being still a poet as well as a 
philosopher, perhaps felt no necessity for determining) 
exactly where this truth began and how far it ex 
tended. The souls in their original state, and when 
sufficiently perfected to return to that state, are 
represented as entirely free from the body, 59 and this 
doctrine is too closely interwoven with his whole philo 
sophy to justify our limiting it to mean 60 that perfect 
incorporeality is merely an unattainable ideal, and that 
in reality man even after this present life will possess a 
body a nobler body, however, and more obedient to 
the soul. A philosopher who in his whole procedure 
consciously and exclusively strives after a release from 
the body, who so long as the soul carries about with 
if this evil despairs of attaining his end ; who yearns 
to be free from corporeal bonds, and sees in that free 
dom the highest reward of the philosophic life; who 
recognises in the soul an invisible principle, which only 
in the invisible can reach its natural state ; C1 such a 

39 Phaedr. 240 B sq., 250 C; obvious that they all foun 1 this 

Ptoedo, 66 E sq., 80 1) sq., 114 (J ; view of theirs in Plato) ; likewise 

cf. 81 I), 83 D, 84 1); Tim. 42 Hitter, ii. 427 sqq. : Steinhart, iv. 

-V- 51 ; Suscmihl, Gonet. Knt\v. i. 461 

ANith many of the earlier 1 hilol. xv. 417 sqq. 

.Neoplatonists, on whom compare (il Phredo, 04 A-68 B 79 ( s. 

vol. iii. b. 641, (584, <5<8 ; 736 (it is 80 D-81 D, 82 P-84 B- cf also 



philosopher, if any one at all, must have been con 
vinced that it was possible for the disciple of true 
wisdom to attain in the life to come full release from 
the material element. Since this is just what he does 
assert, without a word to the contrary, we have not the 
slightest reason for mistrusting such explanations. 62 In 
these main features, therefore, of the Platonic escha- 
tology, we have to do with Plato s own opinions. 63 
Other points may have had in his eyes at any rate an 
approximate probability; for example, the cosmic 
revolutions of ten thousand years, 61 the duration of 
future intermediate states, the distinction between 
curable and incurable transgressions. 65 But the further 

Tim. 81 D, 85 E, and subter, note 

62 The original appearance of 
the Ideas presupposes the non- 
corporeity of the soul ; it is at our 
entry into the body that we forget 
them; Phfedo, 70 D ; Hep. x. 621 
A ; cf. supra, note 13. 

63 Hegel, (resell, d. Phil. ii. 181, 
184, 18<3, is therefore incorrect in 
pronouncing the conceptions of the 
pre-existcnce, the fall of the soul 
and avdfjiv^ffis, to be doctrines not 
reckoned essential to his philo 
sophy by Plato himself. 

64 "V. p. 383. The whole calcu 
lation is of course purely dogmatic. 
The world-year is a century (the 
longest time of a man s life) 
multiplied by itself ; its parts are 
ten periods of a thousand years, of 
which each one allows space for a 
single return to life and the possi 
bility of retribution of tenfold dura 

65 This distinction was the result 
of Plato s general view as to the 

object of punishment (see next 
chapter). The consideration that 
the equilibrium between the num 
bers of the dying and of those 
returning into life (Phdo, 72 
A sq.; Rep. x. 611 A) might 
be disturbed, and in the end quite 
destroyed, if in each period of 
the work! even a small number 
only of incurable criminals with 
drew from the ranks of those set 
apart to return to life, could be 
met by the supposition that the 
punishment (Gorg. 525 0; Eep. 
015 C sqq., denoted as endless) of 
such persons extended only to the 
end of each great year of the world. 
This of course would not be an 
eternity of punishment, but still 
such as would extend over the whole 
period of time comprehended by 
Plato s eschatologic myths. It is, 
however, open to question whether 
Plato himself rose to this con 
sideration. I see, therefore, no 
sufficient reasons for the assertion 
(Susemihl, Philol. xv. 433 sqq.) 


details concerning the other world and the soul s migra 
tions are so fanciful in themselves, and are sometimes 
so playfully treated by Plato, that his doctrine, in pro 
portion as it descends into particulars, passes into the 
region of the Myth. 

In connection with these notions, by which alone it 
can be fully understood, we have now to consider the 
Platonic theory of the parts of the soul and its relation 
to the body. As the soul entered the body out of a 
purer life, as it stands related to the body in no 
original or essential manner, the sensuous side of the 
souls life cannot belong to its specific essence. Plato / 
therefore compares the sou